John Lewis profits dive by 99%

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Department store chain and owner of Waitrose blames retail discounting and cost of new stores

The John Lewis Partnership blamed heavy discounting by rivals and the cost of new stores and IT for a near 99% plunge in first-half profits.

The company, which owns a string of department stores and the Waitrose supermarket chain, made pre-tax profits before one-off items of £1.2m in the six months to 28 July, down from £83m in the same period a year earlier. It said it expects full-year profits to be “substantially lower” than last year as it first warned in June.

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