Business briefs: Weather takes heat out of John Lewis

JOHN Lewis yesterday said that its sales growth last week had been held back by hot weather, which meant it lost shoppers to alternative outdoor pursuits, as well as tough comparative numbers last year.

The employee-owned retailer said department store sales rose 6.5 per cent to £57.9 million in the week to 24 March. There was another big jump – more than 40 per cent, year-on-year – for online sales. The previous week had seen a 20.9 per cent hike in overall takings.

Yesterday’s update revealed sales declines at all three Scottish department stores, with Edinburgh down 9.1 per cent.

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Typhoon blows in good news for BAE

Defence giant BAE Systems yesterday received a five-year, £446 million contract to provide a range of engineering support services for the fleet of Typhoon jets.

The order will help to sustain about 600 jobs at BAE’s Warton and Samlesbury sites in Lancashire.

Martin Taylor, BAE Systems’ combat air support director, said: “This contract is great news for BAE Systems and for the Eurofighter programme as a whole.

“Over a five-year period the contract will deliver significant savings to the customer.”