The 140-year-old mutually owned organisation lauded the performance of its Waitrose supermarkets as ‘outstanding’, while offering praise for its department stores, which made a profit despite 2003’s ‘difficult trading conditions’ (Evening Standard, 11 March).
The company boasted a 19 per cent rise in pre-tax profits, allowing for the bonus to its 56,000 staff, equivalent to around six weeks’ salary (Scotsman.com, 11 March).
Negative pressures on the business highlighted in the results included a downturn in trade during the run-up to the Iraq war and the central London congestion charge.
Chairman Stuart Hampson said there was still plenty of scope to improve. The Financial Times said Hampson remained committed to a strategy of improvement, refurbishment and growth (12 March). The Sun claimed his confidence in generating further gains were not misplaced (15 March).
Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow.