John Lewis profits slide ?20m

Retailer makes ?40m during first six months of year, boosted by electricals market growth
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John Lewis has seen a dramatic fall in profits as the credit crunch bites, down £21m – 34.4 per cent – to £40m, with the retailer blaming difficult trading conditions for the decline.

Despite that, sales were up, albeit at 0.5 per cent, boosted in part by the retailer growing market share in the electronics sector.

"In difficult trading conditions, the Partnership is determined to do the right thing to build our business for the future," chairman Charlie Mayfield said in a statement.

He warned, however, that the outlook would continue to be bleak, describing the next six months and 2009 as "challenging".