LONDON, March 9 British retailer the John Lewis
Partnership cut its annual staff bonus for a
fifth consecutive year on Thursday as 2016-17 trading profit at
both its department stores and Waitrose supermarket chain fell,
it said on Thursday.
The employee-owned group said its staff, known as partners,
would receive a bonus of 6 percent, equivalent to over three
weeks pay, down from 10 percent last year. It totals 89.4
million pounds ($108.6 million).
The percentage payout was the lowest since 1954 when 4
percent was paid.
John Lewis had cautioned in January that the bonus was
likely to be "significantly lower" this year due to the need to
invest heavily in its online business as well as import cost
pressures from a weaker pound since last June's Brexit vote.
The group said profit before the partnership bonus, tax and
exceptional items increased 21.2 percent to 370.4 million
pounds. However, a large part of this profit increase was due to
lower pension accounting charges.
There were also a number of exceptional items in the
results. After including these exceptional items, the operating
profit in both Waitrose and John Lewis department stores was
below last year.
Last month the department stores business said it would cut
hundreds of jobs in a reorganisation of its soft furnishings
business and changes to the way it operates its in-store
($1 = 0.8233 pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey)