JD Sports bucks high street trend with record half-year profit
The sportswear retailer points to online and bricks and mortar store investment and an expansion in to the US market as reasons for pre-tax profit rising to £121.9m for the 26 weeks to 4 August.
That’s up from £102m in the same period last year, an increase of 19%, while total like-for-like sales grew more than 3%. It also expects sales to continue at similar levels for the second half of the year.
JD Sports Fashion Plc, Executive Chairman, Peter Cowgill, said: “Against a backdrop of widely reported retail challenges in the UK, it is extremely reassuring that the profitability in the UK and Ireland Sports Fascias has been further enhanced. This reflects the value of the investments that we have made over a number of years in developing a dynamic multichannel proposition which marries the best of physical and digital retail.”
JD Sports now has its eyes firmly on increasing its US expansion, following the £396m acquisition of Finish Line, one of America's biggest sports footwear and clothing retailers, in March this year. Over a seven-week period since the completion of the acquisition, Finish Line has contributed £4.8m to its operating profit. The move gives JD Sports a serious crack at the largest sportswear market, and it will extend its global reach with a trial of the JD fascia - anticipated in the second half of the year.
Cowgill commented: “Sales to date in the second half have continued at similar levels to those in the first half, supporting our continued confidence in the robustness of the JD proposition. We remain confident that we are well positioned to deliver an outturn in line with current market expectations which, including a part year from Finish Line, range from £337 million to £345 million, and we also remain encouraged by our prospects for future growth."