By Jonathan Davies

John Lewis Partnerships reported a 12% rise in pre-tax profits.

The group, which includes Waitrose, said profits were £129.8m, a 12% rise on last year.

John Lewis said it saw strong growth in sales for both businesses, but added that the outlook for the food industry is “challenging” as the market goes through big changes with the rise of discount retailer like Aldi and Lidl, winning even more market share from the ‘Big Four’ supermarkets.

It also said some parts of the business “are more positive than has been the case for several years”.

John Lewis Partnerships chairman, Sir Charlie Mayfield told BBC Radio 5 Live that the company could be forced to raise prices if Scotland votes ‘Yes’ in the independence referendum next week.

Sir Charlie said John Lewis Partnerships doesn’t have contingency plans, but independence could pose risks to the business and it may see prices rise to compensate for them.

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