The John Lewis Partnership has announced a staff windfall worth 15% of salary from a bonus pot of £202.5 million - down from 17% of salary last year.

Bottom-line profits were 4.1% lower at £329.1 million after the group had to pay £47.3 million in back pay to around 69,000 staff last summer after discovering it miscalculated holiday pay dating back to 2006, leaving some workers entitled to thousands of pounds in compensation.

Its results also lay bare the escalating cost of its workers' pensions, with John Lewis seeing a £181.3 million, or 22.1%, leap in the scheme's funding shortfall.

The group has agreed a 10-year plan to plug the deficit that included a one-off payment of £85 million in January.

John Lewis, whoich ha\s a flagship store at WestQuay in Southampton revealed proposals last month to cut back its final salary pension scheme, which is one of the most generous in Britain, with plans to switch to a hybrid defined benefit and defined contribution scheme.

But sales figures highlight ''another good year'' for the group, according to Mr Mayfield.

Revenues surpassed the £10 billion milestone for the first time - up 6.6% to £10.2 billion - and like-for-like sales increased by 6.4% across John Lewis department stores and by 5.1% at Waitrose.

The group emerged as one of the retail winners over a highly competitive Christmas season, with John Lewis's like-for-like sales up 6.9% and Waitrose reporting a 3.1% rise.

And it said the new year had started well, with comparable store sales 5.3% higher at John Lewis and 3.7% up at Waitrose in the first five weeks.

Mr Mayfield said the group had needed to adapt quickly to ''fundamental changes'' in the industry, with shoppers demanding better value, convenience and personalisation.

''The level of change has at times been challenging, but partners have understood and embraced the need for their business to continue to develop,'' he said.