John Lewis staff set for 15% bonus


John Lewis jobs

John Lewis and Waitrose staff are set for bonuses worth 15% of their salaries tomorrow as the retail chains continue their strong trading.

John Lewis Partnership, which is owned by its 85,500 employees, will announce the bonus award alongside annual results, with the group expected to report a 7% rise in underlying profits to £370 million.

The bonus percentage is set to be down from 17% a year earlier due to the increased cost of servicing the group's £840 million pension fund deficit.

Each worker - from weekend check-out assistants to chairman Charlie Mayfield - receives the same percentage of salary as a bonus.

The reported figure of 15% is believed to amount to £200 million in total and represent around £3,500 to the average full-time employee.

The department store and supermarket arms of the partnership have continued to trade well, with John Lewis's Christmas like-for-like sales up 6.9% and Waitrose reporting a 3.1% rise.

Independent retail analyst Nick Bubb has highlighted concerns about the impact of intense supermarket competition on profit margins at Waitrose.

He said: "John Lewis Partnership should be reasonably optimistic about the outlook for the UK consumer and for profit and bonus growth in 2014/15."

The retailer's 10-year plan to eliminate the deficit included a one-off payment of £85 million in January followed by further annual cash payments of £44 million.

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