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.
John Lewis & Bracknell-based Waitrose staff will receive bonuses worth 17% of salary after the group shrugged off tough high street conditions to report a 15.8% surge in annual profits. The employee-owned firm reported pre-tax, pre-bonus profits of £409.6 million for the 12 months to January.
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.
Portsmouth have won their first match in league one, beating Crawley 3-0
In football, there was no action today for the region's Premier League or Championship clubs. But our league clubs have been on the pitch.
In League One
Bournemouth won 1-0 away to Yeovil, whilst Swindon lost 0-1 at home to Leighton Orient.
In League Two
Gillingham won 3-1 away to Barnet, Aldershot drew 2-2l at Bristol Rovers. But Oxford were beaten 4-1 at home to Exeter.
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Thousands of A-Level students have been celebrating getting their results in the East part of our region. We went to meet some of them.Read the full story ›
Tens of thousands of students have received their A-Level results today. Here is the picture in the West of the region.Read the full story ›
Oxfordshire County Council has released a statement congratulating A and AS Level students in the area.
The council also said that early signs indicate that 90% of students received two or more A-Levels at pass rates rades A* to E. While around 46% attained grades A* to B, 13% up on last year's results.
“I am delighted that so many students have received such magnificent results today and that the anxious wait for them is finally over. The results show how hard they have worked and are also testament to the quality of the teachers in the county. Parents also play a crucial role in supporting their children through the exam period, which can be extremely stressful. I would like to thank everyone for their hard work and support and congratulate the students on their achievements.
“Of course, not all students receive the results they were hoping for, but I would like to reassure them that there is support available, through the Oxcentric website, support sessions at schools and through the National Careers Service which also has a helpline number - 0800 100 900. These services all work hard to help show young people what options are available to them.
“I would like to wish all the students every success in their futures as they start the next chapter in their lives.”