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Bracknell-based Waitrose sales up nearly 8%

Waitrose has seen its market share rise to 4.9% Credit: David Jones/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The employee-owned partnership, which has 39 John Lewis shops and 294 Waitrose supermarkets, racked up £4.7 billion in sales in the six months to July 27, an increase of 7% despite comparisons with strong trading last summer.

Underlying profits were 4% higher at £115.8 million, although a payment of £40 million to staff following the miscalculation of holiday pay over the last seven years meant bottom-line profits fell 38.5% to £68.5 million.

Waitrose has outperformed the sector for more than four years and that its market share stood at 4.9% - 0.3% higher than a year ago. Its sales in the first half were up by 7.8% to £3 billion, or 6.9% on a like-for-like sales basis, as operating profits climbed 12.8% to £160.2 million.

Waitrose has outperformed the market for the last four years Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire/Press Association Images

In March, the business announced that employees would receive 17% of their salary as part of an annual bonus, equivalent to nearly nine weeks pay.

The business created a net figure of 800 new jobs, taking its headcount to around 85,500 staff.

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Bracknell sexual assault appeal

e-fit of sexual assaulter
Police would like to speak to this man in connection with the assault Credit: Thames Valley Police

Thames Valley Police have released an e-fit of a man they would like to speak to in connection with a sexual assault on a woman in Bracknell.

The assault happened on Monday, June 24 at 4.30pm when a man called at the property asking for a previous occupant.

A 28-year-old woman answered the door and the man forced his way into the house and punched her in the face, before sexually assaulting her.

The victim suffered bruising to her face and body as a result of the incident.

The man is in his early 30s, about 6ft 4ins and of heavy build.

Bracknell regeneration could create 2,500 jobs

Many town centre regeneration plans have been delayed or scrapped due to the current economic climate, but one scheme in Berkshire is pushing ahead at full speed. The shopping precinct in the northern area of the town centre has now been cleared, ready for demolition next month.

Around £200m is being spent on new shops, restaurants, homes and leisure facilities in the area, creating 2,500 jobs. But, as Mel Bloor reports, some independent retailers are far from happy.

Mel talked to Helen Barnett, Bracknell Regeneration Partnership; Ruth Layfield, Ron Taylor Carpets; and Richard Knight, Federation of Small Businesses.

Happy staff at John Lewis - full report

With the economy struggling and so many big name High Street stores going under - there was good news today for one Berkshire based retail giant.

John Lewis and Waitrose, with their headquarters in Bracknell, announced a rise of more than 15% in pre-tax profits. And as an employee-owned partnership it's the staff who reap the rewards.

Penny Silvester reports and speaks to Cheryl Millington, Waitrose IT Director.

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John Lewis results due

Staff at John Lewis will be watching closely as it announces its annual results later.

The business bases its food retailing arm, Waitrose, in Bracknell in Berkshire.

John Lewis Partnership's unique co-owned business model means that annual profits are distributed to its employees rather than shareholders.

This means that every Partner at John Lewis receives a bonus which is calculated as a percentage of their pay. The same percentage is given to all Partners.

The results will announced at 9.30am.

The company is hoping that a record Christmas trading period will boost profits.

Footballer jailed for referee attack

The attack happened after a six-a-side football match Credit: Google

A footballer has been jailed for a year after attacking a referee at a six-a-side football match. James Barnett, 25, was playing in a match on an astro-turf pitch in Bracknell when he got into an argument with the referee over the colour of his top. Barnett was then shown the red card.

After the match he pushed the referee and headbutted him, before kicking him repeatedly in the body and head whilst he was on the floor. Barnett was pulled away by other players, including his team-mates, before he was later arrested. The referee needed surgery to remove some of his teeth.

Barnett, of Kings Road, West Drayton, admitted a charge of ABH.

PC Ashley Todd, of Bracknell CID, said: “Barnett was angry about being shown a red card and took out his frustration by carrying out an unprovoked and reckless assault on the victim, which could have easily been more serious."

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