Sports Direct recorded a 21% rise in profit on Thursday and is handing permanent staff a bonus valued at around £37m.
Britain’s biggest sporting goods retailer was criticised earlier this year for its use use of zero-hours contracts which don't guarantee employees work. Today it responded, labelling that criticism as "unfounded and inaccurate".
90% of employees are reputedly hired for zero-hours contracts but because of the company’s relatively generous bonus scheme, under which its ‘permanent’ staff shared a £20m pot following record profits, findings from earlier this week show that Sports Direct workers are better paid than those at high street giant Next.
"We comply fully with all legal requirements which relate to casual workers, including sick pay, holiday pay, and freedom to gain other employment. Casual workers also participate in general incentive schemes" Sports Direct said.
In the statement released this morning, Chief Exec Dave Forsey added:
“The group has delivered another solid set of results in spite of challenging trading conditions including the adverse impact on performance during the period of England's early departure from the FIFA World Cup in Brazil and unseasonably mild weather during Autumn, reducing footfall.
However, with our ongoing focus on providing customers with exceptional quality and unbeatable value, we have continued to grow group revenues and earnings with interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.
Trading since the period end has been in line with management expectations and will continue to be driven by improvements in product range and availability, optimisation of both our in-store and web offerings, the introduction of click and collect in the UK and further investment in our store portfolio.”