Total group sales for sports retailer Sports Direct International rose 12.1 per cent in its third quarter financial period, according to results published today.
Retail sales in the 13-week period to January 23rd jumped 13.8 per cent year-on-year meaning retail profits increased 9.6 per cent to £149 million.
Overall gross group profit totalled £167 million with a 2.2 per cent growth in revenues for the retailer’s brands division.
Dave Forsey, CEO of Sports Direct, commented: “Since the end of January, the group’s underlying performance has continued to be strong, especially within the UK retail division.
“Therefore we shall reach our full-year targeted underlying EBITDA of £205 million (before the charge for the bonus share scheme). During the remaining quarter and dependent on trading we will continually review further opportunities to invest in margin and or extra group marketing.”
Five permanent and three temporary stores were opened in the UK during Q3 whilst another five permanent outlets closed their doors, one of which was a core property.
The group’s international expansion saw three outlets in Portugal converted and one new store in Slovenia opened.
Domestically it seems Sports Direct has profited from the recent troubles of its most direct competitor JJB Sports, which recently announced that almost 100 of its stores could close in the next two years.
Sports Direct has raised its profits target following its performance during the year-to-date with further preliminary results due to be announced on July 14th.
Forsey added: “At the interim results on December 16th 2010, we announced that for the half year ended October 24th 2010 we had a net debt to underlying EBITDA ratio of 1.2 times, and would be targeting a range between one and 1.5 times by April 2011.
“Due to our strong performance, we are now targeting a range of between 0.5 and one times underlying EBITDA by the year end.”