JD Sports profits slip despite ‘strong sales in challenging market’

The high street retailer said revenues increased 2.7% to £10.4 billion for the year to January 27, compared with the previous year.

The group was boosted by the opening of more than 200 shops, and plans to open a further 200 over the current financial year.

Its new stores have seen sales surpass expectations by around a fifth since opening to customers, JD Sports told investors.

However, it added that this was partly offset by disposals, after the company sold off five brands – Tessuti, Scotts, Choice, Giulio and Cricket – to rival Frasers Group.

Organic sales grew by 9%, with like-for-like growth of 3.8% for the year.

Nevertheless, its UK business was in decline, with an 8.3% slump in revenues to £3.51 billion as it was particularly affected by the group’s disposals.

Footwear continued to drive growth for the retailer, with an 8.2% rise in sales, offsetting a fall in demand for apparel after milder weather over the autumn and winter had weighed on jackets and coats.

JD Sports also reported a pre-tax profit before adjusting items of £912.4 million for the year, slipping by 8% on the previous year.

It said this was linked to lower revenues over the second half of the year and investments designed to help the business in the longer term.

Regis Schultz, chief executive officer, said: “This strong revenue performance was delivered in a challenging market, particularly through our peak trading period.

“We have started the new financial year with Q1 in line with our expectations in a volatile market and we are on track to deliver our profit guidance for the full year.”

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