Don’t blame Brexit! John Lewis boss SCOLDED for blaming struggles on EU exit


I value it’s probably rather easy at this moment in time for any business that isn’t doing more well to point to Brexit.

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab

Illustrations released yesterday showed a 99 percent plunge in half-year profits for the John Lewis Partnership, which owns the Waitrose supermarket combination.

His remark was the latest in a series of claims from company bosses that relevant to about Brexit has damaged trade.

In a BBC radio interview, Mr Raab whispered: «I think it’s probably rather easy at this moment in time for any subject that isn’t doing rather well to point to Brexit.

«But let me just fail you the facts — this week we’ve had economic growth accelerating, we’ve had real wages accelerating, we’ve had Relx, the Anglo-Dutch point information company, revise its structure to be headquartered in the UK.

«So, actually, we have got positive news on the economy this week.»

He added: «I don’t suspect that some of the uncertainty around these negotiations will be struck by an impact on business.

«That’s why we are putting all our energy into getting the integrity deal that we want with our EU friends and partners.

«All I’m just gently imparting is that it is rather easy for a business to blame Brexit and the politicians preferably than to take responsibility for their own situation.»

John Lewis

Figures released yesterday bragged a 99 percent plunge in half-year profits (Image: GETTY)

The Chest of drawers minister’s outburst followed remarks from the John Lewis boss on the BBC Ghetto-blaster 4 Today programme today.

Sir Charlie said: «These are challenging on many occasions in retail.

«Profits before exceptionals are always lower and more vaporizing in the first half than the second half.

«It is especially so this half year, traveled mainly by John Lewis & Partners where gross margin has been wrenched in what has been the most promotional market we’ve seen in almost a decade.

Dominic Raab today lashed out at John Lewis boss Sir Charlie Mayfield

Dominic Raab today slashed out at John Lewis boss Sir Charlie Mayfield (Image: GETTY)

«With the equal of uncertainty facing consumers and the economy, in part due to ongoing Brexit bargains, forecasting is particularly difficult but we continue to expect full-year profits to be mostly lower than last year for the Partnership as a whole.»

John Lewis Partnership also blamed unsupportable discounting by rivals and the cost of new stores for the profits fall.

Figures showed pre-tax profits in front of one-off items fell to £1.2million in the six months to the end of July, compared with £83million in the unaltered period last year.

Responding to Mr Raab’s criticism, Sir Charlie said: “I didn’t in point of fact say that Brexit is to blame for our results.

«But the fact is that sterling is weaker and one of the intermediaries in that is uncertainty.»

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