Sports retail chain JJB Sports has today announced disappointing financial results as it continues to struggle on the high street.
In a trading statement for the 22 weeks to July 1st 2012, the retailer reported a like-for-like sales decline of eight per cent, despite high expectations due to the Euro 2012 Championships.
Following an announcement in April this year stating that the company was trading as expected, the group’s position has changed.
A statement from JJB Sports said: “The Group has experienced a deterioration in trading performance against management expectation, particularly during May and June when the expected peak in sales in connection with sales of replica football kits and associated products generated from consumer interest in the European Football Championships did not materialise to the extent anticipated (and previously experienced with other major football championships).
“This sales performance has been further exacerbated by the poor early summer weather, which has adversely impacted sales of seasonal product. Consequently sales have fallen materially short of expectations.”
As of July 1st 2012, net debt at the company was £15.4 million, according to an unplanned trading statement, further highlighting the struggles facing the sports apparel retailer.
Further to these negative results, the group also announced that Chairman Mike McTighe, who joined the board 20 months ago, is to stand down by September 1st 2012 and be succeeded by Robert J. Corliss.
During his tenure at the retailer, McTighe has led a restructuring of its cost base and been integral to refinancing plans, while Corliss has 30 years’ experience in the retail sector, leading buyouts, turnarounds and start-ups.
Such expertise may prove useful in the new role as, earlier this year, the sportswear specialist revealed plans to secure new financing for its struggling operations.
Commenting on Corliss’ appointment, McTighe said:”I am excited that we have attracted someone of Bob’s calibre and experience to lead the company through the next phase of its turnaround. His deep US and European sports retailing background is exactly what we require right now.”