Mayfield calls for ‘serious debate’ on Brexit
Sir Charlie Mayfield, John Lewis chairman has said politicians need to decide how Brexit will happen to restore consumer confidence.
‘We should be under no illusions. Brexit is having an effect on the economy, no question. It’s the same for everybody and the main effects are sterling and confidence. Uncertainty is one of the consequences of this and of course businesses never like uncertainty because it makes it hard to plan for the future,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today.
‘I think we need to do justice to that uncertainty and there needs to be a serious parliamentary debate to figure out what kind of Brexit we’re going to have in the best interests of the country and the economy.’
He made his comments after John Lewis saw sales rise by 2.3% to £2.07bn, with like for like sales up 0.1% in the six months to 29 July. Underlying operating profits, excluding exceptional items and property, rose by 9.7% to £39.7m.
However restructuring costs of £56.4m across the group, including Waitrose, saw group profits drop by 53.3% to £26.6m.
Mayfield said a lot of increased costs had not been passed onto shoppers.