Business

John Lewis profits jump 20% to £367.9m in 2010

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Media captionWatch: John Lewis staff celebrate their bonus payments

Department store group John Lewis saw profits rise by 20%, or £61.3m, to £367.9m last year but has warned that 2011 could be more difficult.

Chairman Charlie Mayfield described the figures for the year ending 29 January as a "strong performance".

But he said 2011 would see the impact of higher VAT, rising unemployment, and higher food and raw material costs.

Staff at the employee-owned partnership will each receive a bonus worth an average of more than nine weeks' pay.

John Lewis said that its 76,500 staff would share a bonus pool of £194.5m, with bonuses worth 18% of salary.

Spending impact

Sales across the John Lewis group rose 10.6% to £8.21bn.

Like-for-like sales at the firm's 28 department stores rose 10%, while the JL.com website saw sales jump 38%.

Like-for-like sales excluding petrol at the 224 Waitrose supermarkets rose 4%.

The company said that it had created a net 4,100 new jobs during the year, with another 4,300 staff to be taken on during 2011.

But the 147-year-old company was cautious on trading prospects this year, even though it plans to invest about £600m in its operations.

"We expect trading conditions to be more difficult in 2011, as the VAT increase, rising unemployment, and public sector spending cuts begin to have an impact on consumer spending," Mr Mayfield said.

"Input cost price inflation is also a continuing threat but we are not yet seeing the level of inflation in our prices that is widely quoted," he said.

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