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BREAKING NEWS

John Lewis Partnership sales rise but profits still set to slump

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LONDON (Reuters) - John Lewis Partnership, Britain's biggest department store operator, said its sales rose 1.4 percent to 2.2 billion pounds in the seven weeks to Jan. 5 but said it still expected full-year profits to fall substantially.

Last September, the group forecast profits for its year to end-Jan. 2019 would be substantially lower than 2017-18's profit before partnership bonus, tax and exceptional items of 289 million pounds.

"We continue to expect full year total Partnership profits to be substantially lower this year, driven by slower sales growth over the year and margin pressure in John Lewis & Partners along with higher costs," it said.

"The board will need to consider carefully in March, following the usual process, whether payment of a bonus is prudent in the light of business and economic prospects at that time."

(Reporting by Costas Pitas, Editing by Paul Sandle)

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