John Lewis

John Lewis has paid its lowest bonus to staff since 1954 after seeing its profits plunge by nearly 50%.

John Lewis Partnership, which includes Waitrose, has said its staff will receive a bonus of 3% of their annual salaries. It's the lowest percentage since 1954 when 4% was paid out.

Profits were down 45% to £160 million, continuing a spell of difficult conditions where the staff bonus has declined for six years in a row.

In a statement, the partnership said: "That's [challenge] evident in our results, especially in John Lewis & Partners, where we saw near constant discounting across many categories from October onwards in response to the combination of subdued demand, excess retail space and some other retailers' distress."

Chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield said that paying lower bonuses would allow the partnership to reserve funds "to cope with the continuing uncertainty facing consumers and the economy".