JD Sports announces record profits

JD Sports Fashion PLC has announced half-year revenue and profit growth as it continues to expand its network of UK and international stores.

They reported a record pre-tax profit of £102.7m for the 26 weeks to July 29, up year on year by 33 per cent.

Revenues rose to £1.37bn, up 41 per cent in comparison to the same period in 2016.

During the period, the company opened new stores in most of its existing territories and also launched its first stores in Australia. There was a net increase of 12 stores in the first half in the UK and Ireland.

Peter Cowgill, Executive Chairman, said: “I am delighted to report that the Group continues to make strong progress with profit before tax for the first half increased by a further 33 per cent to a new record level of £102.7 million. This is another pleasing result demonstrating the strength of our highly differentiated multichannel proposition and our ability to prosper in an increasingly competitive market for athletic inspired footwear and apparel.

“The base of our ongoing excellent multichannel retail performance comes from the continued strength of our core UK and Ireland Sports Fashion fascias. We have strengthened our foundations by significant progression internationally both instore and online so that the JD fascia now has a much broader store and multichannel consumer reach and brand influence globally.

“We are encouraged by the sales to date in the second half which have continued at similar levels to those in the first half supporting our continued confidence in the robustness of the JD proposition. We expect the year end out turn to be towards the upper end of market expectations, which currently range from approximately £268 million to £290 million, and remain confident that we are appropriately positioned to deliver further profitable growth and enhance long term shareholder value.”

JD’s outdoor business which includes Blacks, Tiso and the recently acquired Go Outdoors, delivered a positive result in the first half for the first time with an operating profit of £0.1 million.

Cowgill said: “Outdoor, including Go Outdoors for the first time, has delivered a positive result in the first half for the first time with an operating profit of £0.1m (2016: loss of £2.3 million). This result is stated after a non-trading amortisation charge of £1.9m which represents the start of the amortisation of the intangible assets on the fascia and various brand names which were created on the consolidation of the acquisition last year.
“This profitable result has largely been driven from Go Outdoors where the strong camping and outdoor living proposition benefits the first half. Excluding the non-trading amortisation charge of £1.9m, Go Outdoors has delivered a profit from its trading activity of £4.0m which is broadly in line with our expectations and £1.6m ahead of what would have been reported in the equivalent period for the business in the prior year.

“We also continue to make encouraging progress in our pre-existing businesses with Blacks / Millets seeing a reduction in its first half loss from £2.3 million to £1.6 million. We are pleased that our team’s ongoing efforts to improve the Spring/Summer offer and deliver a proposition which can trade all year have had positive results Both fascias delivered encouraging like for like store sales growth during the period.

“We are still only in the preliminary stages of our planning for an enlarged Outdoors business and we would not anticipate making any material changes to the operations of any of our businesses in the next year. However, we believe that the availability of product in the Go Outdoors stores, and consequently the sales, could be enhanced by having a greater proportion of stock supplied from central warehousing. This is a longer term objective.”

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