John Lewis credits Olympics sponsorship for sales lift

John Lewis: retailer claims its Olympic sponsorship helped boost half-year profits
John Lewis: retailer claims its Olympic sponsorship helped boost half-year profits

John Lewis has flagged up its sponsorship of the London 2012 Games and its "Never knowingly unsold" marketing pledge as key factors in helping drive up half-yearly profits.

John Lewis Partnership, which includes the John Lewis department stores and Waitrose supermarket chain, today (13 September) reported pre-tax profits of £144.5m, up 60% on the year, in the six months to 28 July.

Revenues were up 8.6% to £3.9bn.

John Lewis claimed its role as the official department store of the London Olympics had "a positive impact in the run-up to the Games", as did customers hitting its stores during the Diamond Jubilee.

The company statement said: "Product innovation, brand partnership with suppliers such as Apple, and our continued commitment to being 'Never knowingly undersold', contributed to our market share gains."

John Lewis returns to TV this weekend with its latest emotional epic TV campaign, created by Adam & Eve/DDB.

The partnership also flagged up its digital arm, johnlewis.com, which boasted a strong half year, with sales up by 40%. Online sales now account for 24% of total John Lewis sales.

Its Click & Collect service, the company said, had grown by 114%.

Operating profits at Waitrose were up 28.9% to £142m in the period, while revenues were up 6.6% to £2.6bn.

The retailer maintained that a "tight focus on efficiency and managing costs" at Waitrose meant it was able to extend its Brand Price Match pledge.

Waitrose also revealed that 2012 marked its highest rate of product innovations to date, with 2,700 new and improved products launched in the first half of the year and 2,200 planned in the second.

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