24 May 2024, 14:11
By Furniture News Sept 11, 2014

John Lewis Partnership interim report for 2014 released

“Partnership sales grew strongly at 6%, with Waitrose and John Lewis both outperforming their respective markets," says Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of John Lewis Partnership. "Our sales growth was driven by more customers shopping with Waitrose and John Lewis, with customer numbers up by over 6% and 4% respectively.

"This reflects the growing appeal of our omni-channel offer across both brands, including the success of Click & Collect, which now accounts for more than half of John Lewis orders placed online, and the popularity of the myWaitrose and my John Lewis programmes, which are encouraging customers to shop more frequently with us across all of our channels.

"Profit before tax and exceptional item, of £129.8m, is 12% ahead of last year, benefiting from property profits of £11m. Operating profits in John Lewis rose by 62% (£22m), and the strong profit performance reflects John Lewis' robust sales growth across all categories, especially in the higher margin 'Home' category, and good cost control across the business."

Operational highlights

• Sales growth and market share increases across all categories
• Online sales of £552m, up 25.6% and now representing over 30% of merchandise sales; shop sales
increased by 3.6%
• Opened new full line flexible format shop in York and first airport shop in Heathrow Terminal 2
• Customers and Partners celebrated 150th anniversary
• First phase of second National Distribution Centre in Milton Keynes completed

Financial Results

In the first six months of the year, both Waitrose and John Lewis grew sales well ahead of their respective markets, increasing their market shares. Partnership gross sales (inc VAT) were £5.01bn, an increase of £282.3m, or 6.0%, on last year. Revenue, which is adjusted for sale or return sales and excludes VAT, was £4.46bn, up by £242.4m or 5.7%.

Gross sales for John Lewis in the first half were up 9.4% to £1.87bn, with like-for-like sales up 8.2%. Operating profit increased by 62.2% to £56.3m.

• Home increased by 7.4%, driven in part by the revitalisation of the housing market. Although ‘House’ remained its biggest brand in Home, the introduction of the ‘Croft’ range proved popular as customers looked for a balance between classic and contemporary design.

• Fashion was up 9.1%, with online fashion sales growth particularly strong at 33.9%. In response to the continued success of John Lewis' own-brand offer, it recently launched its first John Lewis & Co. men’s formalwear collection.

• Electricals and Home Technology (EHT) delivered growth of 11.7%. 

A year on from launching its new web platform, johnlewis.com sales are up 25.6%, outperforming the industry (IMRG) by 16% in the first half.

The online business now accounts for over 30% of John Lewis merchandise sales. Click & Collect sales have grown by nearly 50% and now make up over half of online orders. In addition, a continued focus on its mobile strategy has led to over half the traffic to johnlewis.com coming from mobile and tablet devices. This Christmas the cut-off time for ordering for next day collection will be extended to 8pm, complemented by the addition of over 90 new Waitrose locations and the nationwide rollout of CollectPlus.

Investment has continued in new and existing shops as it continues to develop its portfolio. John Lewis York opened in April and, combined with the success of the Exeter shop, demonstrates that there is a role for a smaller department store format to complement regional flagships and at home branches in our future growth.

John Lewis' first airport shop at Heathrow Terminal 2 opened in June and, as part of ongoing efforts to meet customers’ demand for more convenient ways to shop, it has announced that a new ‘Click & Commute’ shop will open this autumn at St Pancras station. 

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