John Lewis staff face more redundancies after annual bonus is slashed

Picture: Charlotte Ball/PA Wire
Picture: Charlotte Ball/PA Wire
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The John Lewis Partnership is set to axe more jobs this year after the department store chain was forced to slash its annual bonus following a 77 per cent drop in profits.

Chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield said he expects the number of staff will ‘continue to decline’ even as the firm slashed headcount by 1,440 last year.

‘That will be a function of the changing use of technology but also longer contracted hours,’ he added.

‘The number of partners will come down as a consequence of that.’

The comments came alongside a dire set of full-year results.

Redundancy and restructuring costs in 2017 formed part of a £111.3 million hit that contributed to a hefty fall in bottom-line pre-tax profits, which plunged 77 per cent to £103.9 million after one-off charges.

Underlying pre-tax profits at the Partnership - which owns the department store and upmarket supermarket Waitrose - were down 21.9 per cent at £289.2 million for the year to January 27.

Staff still on board after the latest round of redundancies will be handed a bonus of five per cent of annual salary, with 85,500 partners sharing out a pot worth £74 million, down from £89.4 million the previous year.

It marks the fifth straight year of bonus cuts, having gone down from six per cent last year and as much as 17 per cent in 2013.