John Lewis Partnership has increased its staff bonus by 18% so that each employee receives the equivalent of more than ten weeks of pay.
The increase to 20% of salary means that the group will pay out a total of £181.1 million in staff bonuses for the year ending 26 January.
Group sales for the period were also up 6.3% to £6.8bn and operating profits were up 17.1% to £402 million.
In 2007 John Lewis invested more than £140m in its final salary non-contributory pension scheme and other benefits. It is also planning to invest up to £1m a year between this autumn and 2012 in Partners in Sport, a programme that gives staff the chance to play sport, gain sports coaching qualifications and live healthier life styles. In addition, the group is in the process of purchasing a new holiday centre for staff.
Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “The Partnership has had a successful year in a challenging trading environment. The key to our success is the commitment of our Partners who consistently deliver the customer service and professionalism that underpins our reputation for value, choice, quality and honesty.
He added: “While we expect trading conditions to continue to be challenging in the year ahead, we are confident that the diversity of our business and our Partnership model makes us resilient and able to perform well even in the most testing market conditions.”