September 14, 2017 / 6:18 AM / a year ago

John Lewis warns cooling consumer demand will impact profits

LONDON, Sept 14 (Reuters) - British retailer John Lewis said on Thursday its performance in the crucial final quarter of the year and into 2018 would be hit by softening consumer demand and rising pension costs following a first-half drop in profits.

The employee-owned group, which owns the eponymous department store business and the upmarket Waitrose supermarket chain, posted a 12.8 percent drop in operating profit before exceptional items to 125.4 million pounds ($166 million).

“We expect the headwinds that have dampened consumer demand and put pressure on margins to continue into next year,” said Chairman Charlie Mayfield.

“We will incur higher pension accounting charges in the second half year, as a result of low market interest rates. These will all impact our full year profits.” ($1 = 0.7576 pounds) (Reporting by Costas Pitas, Editing by Paul Sandle)

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