Mar 7, 2022
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John Lewis forecast to make profits comeback, removes 'Made in Russia' products

Mar 7, 2022

John Lewis will post its annual results next week and analysts are expecting a return to profit of at least £100 million. The company made a £517 million loss last year but under the leadership of chair Sharon White – a former major player at the Treasury so someone very used to overseeing tough decisions on spending – it has taken a number of big actions to cut its costs and boost its turnover.

Photo: Sandra Halliday

That has included closing 16 shops, cutting jobs and launching its successful Anyday value range that has now been extended into fashion and kidswear, among other moves.

While analysts are forecasting profits to be at least £100 million, some are even more optimistic with retail specialist Nick Bubb telling the Telegraph that he thinks the figure could be nearer to £200 million.

The company has benefited from strong Christmas trading, particularly at its Waitrose supermarkets, as well as good sales for homewares and leisurewear. It's also likely to have seen some benefits from the demise of other major names in the UK since the pandemic began – particularly Debenhams and the brand’s formerly owned by Arcadia.

Since Debenhams went online-only under its new owner Boohoo, John Lewis is almost the last major mid-market department store name left in UK physical retail.

Meanwhile, in a separate move, the company has also said that it’s removing from sale any products in Waitrose and John Lewis that are made in Russia. 

While that’s only a small number for now, it’s working with its suppliers to “review products that have components of Russian origin and will be seeking to mitigate further exposure to the region”.

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