• Group H1 pre-tax profit jumped 59.8% to GBP144.5m 
  • John Lewis chain revenues up 12.9% to GBP1.3bn 
  • Like-for-like sales up 9.2%

Department store and supermarket operator John Lewis Partnership Plc has seen its first-half pre-tax profits soar by nearly 60%, as revenues rose on the back of events such as the diamond jubilee and the lead-up to the London 2012 Olympics.

The group today (13 September) said pre-tax profits jumped 59.8% to GBP144.5m (US$232.8m) in the six months to the end of July, with revenues at its 37 John Lewis shops and 284 Waitrose supermarkets up 8.6% to GBP3.9bn.

37 John Lewis shops across the UK (29 department stores and eight John Lewis at home), johnlewis.com and 284 Waitrose supermarkets

Revenues at its John Lewis department store chain, which sells clothing, homewares and electrical goods, climbed 12.9% to GBP1.3bn, with like-for-like sales up 9.2%. Operating profit surged 188.6% to GBP45.6m.

Chairman Charlie Mayfield said gains at the John Lewis chain were helped by a series of collaborations with designers such as Alice Temperley and its multi-channel sales focus, which helped lift fashion sales by 7.2%.

Despite "fragile" consumer demand, the retailer said it has seen a good start to the second half, with like-for-like sales in the first six weeks up 8.5% at John Lewis. That said, it expects growth to be slower in the period.