The John Lewis Partnership has given warning that it expects its staff bonus to be “significantly lower” than last year in the face of a tougher market outlook and the need for investment.
The company, which includes Waitrose supermarket group, said that despite posting strong Christmas trading figures today and forecasting a rise in annual profits the “importance of investment for the future” mean that the bonus will probably be cut.
It is likely that bonuses will be significantly lower than last yearJohn Lewis
It said in a trading statement: “We have decided to comment on bonus implications at this stage because the partnership’s strong Christmas trading, and the likelihood of higher reported profits, risk overshadowing the importance the board is placing on the challenging market outlook, our determination to maintain a strong balance sheet and our commitment to accelerating our strategy.
“The precise level of the bonus will be decided as usual in March, but, in view of these factors, it is likely to be significantly lower than last year.”
Last year, staff shared a bonus pool of £145 million, which amounted to an average payout of £1,585 for each of its 91,500 staff.
Today’s bonus disclosure comes as John Lewis department stores reported a 2.7 per cent hike in like-for-like sales in the six weeks to end-December, while Waitrose saw a 2.8 per cent increase.