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Bonuses for 84,000 staff at John Lewis and Waitrose ought to have cut for the fifth time in a row.

Employees will get a 5% bonus, down from 6% last year and the lowest since the 4% paid out in 1954.

Annual group profit, before the partnership bonus, taxation and exceptional items, fell 21.9% to PS289. 2m.

John Lewis Partnership chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield said 2017 had been a “challenging year”, as expected, with “subdued” consumer demand.

He said weakness in sterling had led to higher costs, exert pressure on the business’s gain margin.