JD Sports has raised its annual profit forecast for the second time in four months after a strong second half, which included an “encouraging” Christmas trading period.
The sportswear retailer said it now expects group profit before tax for the year to February 3 to reach £300 million, ahead of analyst expectations of £270 million to £295 million and last year’s figure of £238.4 million – itself an 81 per cent year-on-year increase.
In September, the retailer had said it expected pre-tax profit to hit the top end of market expectations from £268 million to £290 million.
Meanwhile, like-for-like sales growth across the group’s combined Sports and Outdoor fascias during the second half went up three per cent, which was the same as the first half’s pace – with additional sales growth deriving from online and continuing overseas space expansion.
JD Sports said the performance was “encouraging” when considered against the challenging comparatives provided by the significant levels of sales increases achieved in each of the last three years.
“I am delighted to report that we have maintained our positive performance from the first half of the year which continues to demonstrate the capability and strength of our highly differentiated multichannel proposition,” executive chairman Peter Cowgill said.