Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Strong H1 performance at John Lewis

Published: 16 September 2010
John Lewis Partnership has reported a strong performance for the first half of the year to July 31, 2010.
Strong H1 performance at John Lewis
Total sales increased by 12.4% to £3.8bn, while operating profit also rose by 15.1% to £145.2m.

The company has invested £154.8m in new branches, formats and concepts, as well as a strengthened balance sheet.

JLP chairman Charlie Mayfield said: "This has been a strong first half performance by the Partnership. We took decisions during the recession to invest in existing shops, in new formats, in multi-channel and in 'value' and we are now seeing the benefits coming through."

Sales at John Lewis increased by 14.5% to £1.4bn, while like-for-likes went up 12.3%. Operating profit soared by 76.8% to £35.9m, up £15.6m on last year.

According to the trading statement released today, John Lewis won share in each of its three markets (fashion, home and electricals and home technology) in the first half. Home recovered well after a tough 2009, increasing its sales by 16.7%.

The high street shops recovered strongly, said the report, but "online sales were at the heart of John Lewis' performance" with a 36.1% growth. The retailer's progress online was demonstrated by its sales figures and also through its recognition as 'online retailer of the year' from Which?. The latest step in multi-channel is the extension of the 'never knowingly undersold' concept to johnlewis.com.

The John Lewis 'at home' store in Poole continues to trade well, said the report, while a second trial shop in Croydon opened on August 26 and further branches are planned this year in Swindon and Tunbridge Wells.

The retailer remains on track for the opening of its new shop at the Olympic site in Stratford in September 2011.

Mr Mayfield concluded: "For the remained of this year and into 2011, we anticipate more challenging trading conditions as higher taxes and public spending cuts begin to bite and household disposable incomes come under pressure.

"However, the Partnership's ownership model enables us to focus on the long term and we will continue to move ahead with our plans. Despite the economic headwinds, and tougher comparables in the second half, I am confident that both Waitrose and John Lewis will continue to grow ahead of the market."

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