JD Sports delays results to give auditors time to assess Footasylum sell-off
JD Sports’ full-year results will be delayed to allow auditors more time to comb through the impact an enforced sell-off of Footasylum will have on the business.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) ordered JD in November to sell the business it bought in a £90 million deal in 2019 over competition concerns.
JD was subsequently fined £5 million on Monday for exchanging commercially sensitive information in a secret meeting recorded in a Bury car park by an unknown third party.
The sporting giant said the delay was to “ensure that KPMG have sufficient time to complete its global audit procedures and to allow the group to report on the outcome of the divestment of Footasylum Limited with greater certainty”.
It also said it expected the results to now be ahead of market expectations, following a successful sales period through January.
Underlying pre-tax profits, which will exclude the £5 million fine, are now expected to be at least £900 million.
It followed a strong Christmas period for the business, with like-for-like sales up more than 10% in the 22 weeks to 1 January compared with the same period in 2020, when shops were closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The results are also expected to be timed to allow for a review of governance policies to be completed at the business, including a plan to split the executive chairman and chief executive roles in two – in line with best practice for UK-listed companies.