Sports Direct sees sales soar in summer of sport


Sports products & clothing retailer Sports Direct capitalised on Britain‘s summer of sport as group sales rose 25.3 per cent to £519 million in its last quarter, it has been announced today.

In the 13 weeks ending July 29th 2012, gross profit jumped 20.4 per cent to £211.1 million, while sports retail sales enjoyed a 19.9 per cent increase to £441.4 million and sports retail gross profit rose to £179.2 million, an increase of 14.8 per cent on the same period last year.

Commenting on the strong results, CEO of Sports Direct International Dave Forsey said: “During this unprecedented sporting summer our Retail performance continues to go from strength to strength.

“As we outlined earlier this year, our unrivalled depth and breadth of product combined with the continued investment in lowering prices to our customers is underpinning this performance.

“Since the end of July trading has remained equally strong, especially within the UK Sports Retail division where sales have also been boosted by the tremendous performance of Team GB at the London Olympics.

“The Board therefore continues to target our 2013 “super stretch” underlying EBITDA objective of £270m (before the charge for the bonus share schemes).”

Ahead of its AGM later today, the group also reported that premium lifestyle sales were £28.8 million with a gross profit of £12.1 million, while its Brand division saw revenue grow 15.4 per cent to £48.8 million with corresponding gross profit rising to £19.8 million, up 10.6 per cent on the same period in 2011.

At the end of last month, the retailer signed a deal with football club Rangers to sell its branded merchandise across its stores following the club‘s decision to end its partnership with rival JJB Sports.

While its high street competitor seeks a buyer having formally been put up for sale last week, Sports Direct UK closed only three core stores and opened eight and also closed four non core stores and opened three.

A focus on international expansion continues as European Sports Retail opened nine stores over the period in Belgium, Hungary, Slovenia, Portugal and France, increasing its portfolio as it looks to strengthen its position further.

Matt Piner, Lead Consultant at analyst firm Conlumino, said of the results: “With a strategy of providing authority across the ranges, leading brands and a cohesive multichannel offer, all underpinned by highly competitive prices, Sports Direct was always going to be first in line to benefit from any Olympics ‘mini-boom‘.

“The moribund state of rival JJB simply rendered this even more inevitable. Sports Direct has demonstrated that, even in a tough environment, for retailers with a strong underlying proposition that are willing to invest and evolve, gold remains a real possibility.”


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