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JD Sports jumps as record profits defy retail gloom

Time:2018-04-19 17:29Shoes websites Click:

Sports Retail Record jumps Profits

JD Sports Fashion has reported a more than 25% jump in full-year headline pretax profit as demand for athletic and leisurewear clothing remained firm in an otherwise gloomy United Kingdom clothing sector.

The FTSE 250 group saw pre-tax profits jump to £294.5mln (2017: £238.4mln) in the 12 months ended 3 February - a rise of 24%, although that figure is boosted by the addition of a few days in this year's financial year.

Headline profit before tax and exceptional items, meanwhile, reached a record GBP307.4m, surpassing JD's guidance posted in January.

Peter Cowgill, executive chairman, said: "I am delighted to report that this has been another period of significant progress for the Group with headline profit before tax and exceptional items increasing by a further 26% to £307.4m".

Like-for-like sales - an important metric for retailers which strips out the impact of new and closed stores - rose 3%, while online sales soared by a third as shoppers continue to do more of their shopping over the internet.


Guided by executive chairman Peter Cowgill (pictured below) and astute numbers man Brian Small, the sports, fashion and outdoor brands purveyor is bucking an otherwise gloomy trend on the United Kingdom high street.

The retailer combined expansion with solid sales growth in its core business, adding 56 new stores in Europe as well as its first Australian branches. Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of JD, said the acquisition - JD's largest plan to date - represents an "excellent opportunity" for the retailer to establish its multi-brand proposition in the United States; "a clear next step to further increase our global scale".

Cowgill added: "We are very encouraged by the progress that we are making internationally and we continue to look for further opportunities to bring our dynamic multichannel proposition to new markets around the world with the support of our key brands". "The board remains confident in the robustness and global potential of the JD proposition and is excited by the major developments ahead".

Last month, JD Sports announced the near-£400m acquisition of NASDAQ-traded footwear seller Finish Line, a deal that will transform JD Sports' growth prospects in the U.S., the world's biggest global market for sport lifestyle footwear and apparel.

Shares in JD Sports were trading 4.3% higher at 368.20p per share early on Tuesday.

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