Stores facing challenges
John Lewis reports loss amid weak consumer spending
Tough trading: John Lewis hoping for stronger second half
John Lewis group plunged to a £25.8 million half-year loss as chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield warns of downward Brexit sentiment on consumer spending.
The loss for the department stores and Waitrose supermarkets before Partnership bonus, tax, exceptionals and accounting factors for the six months to 27 July compares to a £1m profit at the same stage last year.
Operating losses before exceptionals for its department store chain John Lewis & Partners increased by £42.5m to £61.8m.
Sir Charlie said: “The re-drawing of the UK retail landscape continues apace.
“We have historically made the majority of our profits in the second half of the year.
“However, should the UK leave the EU without a deal, we expect the effect to be significant and it will not be possible to mitigate that impact.
“In readiness, we have ensured our financial resilience and taken steps to increase our foreign currency hedging, to build stock where that is sensible, and to improve customs readiness.
“However, Brexit continues to weigh on consumer sentiment at a crucial time for the sector as we enter the peak trading period.”