Leaked John Lewis memo reveals profit surge

John Lewis store front

John Lewis is considering reinstating its annual staff bonus after a leaked internal memo reveals it has smashed its £100m profit target.

// The information raises hopes that the annual bonus for 80,000 staff could return this year

Hopes are high that the John Lewis Partnership will reinstate its annual staff bonus after a leaked internal memo reveals the retail group has broken through its £100million annual profit target.

The memo – which has been seen by the Mail on Sunday – revealed that the retail group has smashed its target after sales were boosted by a bumper Christmas across Waitrose supermarkets and a major cost-cutting drive.

If John Lewis does reinstate the annual bonus for its 80,000 employees, it will be the first payout since 2020. The staff bonus was cancelled last year for the first time in 67 years.

In the memo, this year’s payout was described as a “possibility” by executive director for finance Berangere Michel. She added that the company’s financial performance over Christmas had been a “fantastic achievement, given the complexity of trading through this year”.

Michel also revealed that the company was ‘well ahead’ of its £100million annual profit target by the end of December, with still a month of its financial year left.

The figures also reflect the success of the turnaround strategy led by chairwoman Sharon White. White – who joined the business in 2019 – has controversially closed stores and diversified into other markets in her efforts to turn the £10billion retail group around.

John Lewis said in September that a bonus would not be paid unless profits hit £150million and its debt burden had been reduced.

The partnership will reveal its annual figures on 10 March, with the board making a decision on the bonus in early March.

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