THE John Lewis Partnership has reported a 98.8 per cent plunge in underlying pre-tax profits to £1.2 million for the six months to July 28.

John Lewis said on a statutory basis, half-year profits slumped 80.5% to £6 million.

It warned that it continues to expect profits in the new financial year also to be "substantially lower".

The group said that profits at the department store chain have continued to be hit by moves not to pass on price hikes to consumers from higher inflation, as well as the cost of new stores and IT changes.