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Published on September 13th, 2013 | by The GC Team


John Lewis first-half growth fuelled by market share gains

Department store chain John Lewis today reported a strong first-half trading performance with revenue up £83.1 million (6.5%) to £1.37billion. Operating profit before restructuring costs increased 9.9% to £50.1 million, but fell 23.9% on the same period last year, to £34.7 million, when £15.4 million was taken into account for a new distribution structure and streamlining department store management structures.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said the department store chain has “significantly outperformed” the market with like-for-like sales up 5.1% against the British Retail Consortium’s quoted 1.7%.

“Sales growth both in shops (+3.4%) and online (+17.1%) reflects our position as Britain’s leading omni-channel retailer,” he commented. “Our growth was fuelled by market share gains across each of our categories, which was particularly pleasing as last half year benefitted from a number of significant one-off events, including the digital switchover and Jubilee.”

Electricals and Home Technology delivered a record market share of 7.6% and a sales increase of 15.7%.

johnlewis.com recorded gross sales of £439.9 million, up £64.1m (17.1%), and passed the milestone of £1 billion in annual sales on a rolling 52 week basis a full year ahead of target.  Mayfield commented that over 40% of traffic now comes from mobile phones or tablets.

“In July we re-launched our transactional mobile app and since then sales via the app have grown quickly and we are preparing for what we anticipate will be the UK’s first ‘mobile Christmas’.”

In his outlook for 2013/14, Mayfield said he was encouraged by progress this year and confident of the plans in place for Christmas. “Despite a strong second half last year, both during the Olympics and at Christmas, I expect us to trade positively in the second half.”

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