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Bonuses equivalent to eight weeks' pay for John Lewis staff

John Lewis staff are to receive bonuses of 15% of their salaries - equivalent to eight weeks' pay.

John Lewis Partnership's results, released this morning, show gross sales were up £454 million  (6.5%), to £7.4 billion. Group operating profit was up £66.4 million 20.5%, to £389.7 million.

Charlie Mayfield, chairman of John Lewis Partnership, said: "This was a year of profound change across the Partnership and the resilience and flexibility of our business model has underpinned a market leading performance. We have continued to invest, innovate and grow, emerging from the recession in a stronger competitive position.

"Partners have shown tremendous commitment during changing times. I am therefore delighted that our partners will share fairly in the financial rewards of a successful year with a Partnership bonus of £151.3 million which means that all our 70,000 partners will receive a bonus of 15% of their salary, equivalent to nearly eight weeks' pay."

But Mayfield confirmed the total accounting pension deficit at January 2010 was £904.6 million, an increase of £174.6 million (+23.9%) on last year, but a slight improvement on the position at the half-year.

As a result the group is planning steps during the year to mitigate the pension deficit, which occurred mainly as a result of adverse market conditions in 2008.

The Partnership recently made a one-off £95 million contribution to the fund, which it invested in an arrangement with the Partnership that promises either payment of £100 million to the fund in 21 years or an amount equal to the size of the deficit at that time, whichever is the lower. The company is in discussions with the trustees about an additional cash contribution.