Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

JD Sports sprints ahead on demand for trainers, track trousers

JD Sports sprints ahead on demand for trainers, track trousers

Pre-tax profits were also up from £238m to £295m.

The Sports Fashion segment demonstrated "very strong" performance as operating profit before exceptional items increased 22% to GBP300.0 million from GBP245.0 million the year earlier.

Excluding exceptional items, pre-tax profit was over £300m, marking a new record for the company.

It said like-for-like sales rose by 3% across all its stores and by 7% including online trading over the 53 weeks.

"After delivering a headline profit of £100m for the first time in the year to January 2015, the headline profit has increased by more than £200m over the subsequent three years, a rise in excess of 200%".

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.

"The investments we have made over a number of years in developing our multichannel proposition and driving improved buying, merchandising and retail discipline have ultimately led to the creation of a world class sports fashion business which combines the best of physical and digital retail on an increasingly global scale".

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In addition, JD revealed last month it has inked an agreement to acquire U.S. athleticwear chain The Finish Line in a deal worth US$558m.

In a statement today, Cowgill said he is "delighted" to report another period of significant progress.

Peter Cowgill, JD Sports executive chairman, said: "This is an excellent result demonstrating our capacity for continuing growth in both existing and new markets, and the strength of our offer in store and online".

Fiona Paton, retail analyst at GlobalData, notes JD Sports brings relief to United Kingdom physical retail as one of only few mid-market retailers to report double-digit revenue and profit growth in 2017.

It has also recently announced its USA market debut after agreeing to buy up American sportswear company Finish Line for 558 million United States dollars (£388 million) in what it has branded a "transformational" deal.

Part-owned by Mike Ashley's Sports Direct International (SPD), Finish Line trades across 44 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, boasts an established online business and is also the exclusive retailer of athletic shoes for Macy's.

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