Waitrose sees sales rise

John Lewis Partnership reported "strong" half-year results today after its department stores and supermarkets continued to grow market share. Waitrose, based in Bracknell, Berks, is part of the John Lewis group.

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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