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John Lewis on track to ‘more than break-even’ ahead of plans

Chloe Burney
31 January 2024

John Lewis, which faced a £234 million loss last year, is on track to make an early return to profit as it prepares to axe up to 11,000 jobs as part of a complete overhaul.

Dame Sharon White told staff that the partnership, which owns John Lewis and Waitrose, will "more than break-even". However, in September, the Chairwoman advised that the group would not return to a sustainable profit before the 2027/28 financial year.

In a video message, seen by The Telegraph, she told employees to prepare for "quite big changes and quite bold changes". The company is currently in the process of stripping £900 million worth of costs out of the business.

The news comes just days after John Lewis confirmed plans to further slash its workforce over the next five years.

The group employs 76,000 people across its supermarkets, department stores, and head office. Up to 11,000 jobs, or 10% of the workforce, could reportedly be axed.

Dame Sharon White said: "There’s been an awful lot of change over the past year. But those efforts are starting to show themselves in our commercial performance, we are converting more of our sales into return to partners, and we will more than breakeven this year, which is a great start as we build back to sustainable profit for the business."

A return to profitability would provide a major boost for John Lewis after posting a loss for the last three consecutive years and warning that its turnaround had been delayed.

In its most recent performance update in September last year, the business slumped to another financial loss, although this narrowed to £59 million amid its continued turnaround efforts.

John Lewis is set to publish its annual results on 14 March 2024.

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