Profits down as John Lewis embraces transformation
Profits at John Lewis Partnership were down -23% in 2019/20 (to £123m), driven by significantly reduced profitability at John Lewis. It was the third year of declining profit across the partnership as a whole.
This resulted in an annual partnership bonus payment of 2%, the lowest since 1953.
John Lewis’ operating profits before exceptionals and (leasing standard) IFRS 16 were down £75m to £40m, driven by weaker sales in Home and Electricals, plus IT investment to enable accelerated development of the customer proposition, and growth in non-management partner pay ahead of inflation, which was only partly offset by productivity improvements.
Chairman Sharon White says: “This year we saw a one-off reduction in the value of our John Lewis shops of £123m, principally as a result of shops playing less of a role in driving online purchases.
“In John Lewis we will be refreshing our home offering, introducing more inspirational and contemporary ranges with improved pricing and delivery. We will also be making improvements to John Lewis online to make it easier to shop.
“We are stepping into a vital new phase for the partnership and I have no doubt we will come through it stronger,” she concludes – but also states that the recovery process could take some 3-5 years.