By Jonathan Davies

John Lewis Partnership has announced a 9% fall in annual underlying profits after the supermarket price war hit its Waitrose business.

The group, which owns department store chain John Lewis and up-market supermarket Waitrose reported profits of £342.7m for 2014.

Waitrose has benefited from the supermarket price war, with shoppers ditching the 'big four' - Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco - and heading to budget German chains Aldi and Lidl and the typically more expensive Waitrose.

Falling sales at the 'big four' prompted them to cut prices in a bid to win back customers. But the war on prices negatively affected Waitrose, the company said.

As a result, John Lewis and Waitrose employees will receive a bonus worth 11% of their salary this year, down from 15% last year.