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Share scheme credited for Sports Direct growth


Sports Direct International announced today that its retail division saw significant year-on-year sales and profits growth for the nine weeks ending September 25th 2011.

In a pre-close trading statement published this morning, the sports equipment and clothing retailer revealed that retail sales were up 12.1 per cent to £296 million and retail gross profit jumped 13.3 per cent to £119 million, compared to the same period last year.

Group sales and profits, including revenues from the company’s Brands division which is operated through its wholesale and licensing businesses, were up to £329 million and £131 million respectively.

CEO of Sports Direct Dave Forsey said that the group’s strong performance was underpinned by the employee share scheme, which was introduced in 2009, and the new four-year share programme announced earlier this year.

In July the group said that the terms of the bonus scheme had been met, meaning its employees will now receive a bonus of 75 per cent of base pay in shares of £1.25 per share.

The company also revealed that a new collective bonus of £87.5 million will be shared between around 2,000 staff members, which could result in individuals receiving around £43,750 in payments spread over the next two years.

“The group has delivered strong growth through the second quarter, further validating our resilient business model,” Forsey explained.

“The strong trading highlights the positive sales growth achieved post the tough FIFA World Cup comparisons, while we have continued to invest in margin, inventory and additional group marketing.”

Based on current trading levels, which the company admits are challenging, the Sports Direct board is confident of reaching the full-year targeted underlying EBITDA of £215 million.

Today’s results do not include sales and gross profit figures from the newly formed Premium Lifestyle division.

Published on Wednesday 19 October by Editorial Assistant

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