JD Sports upbeat on profit target after robust sales growth

JD Sports Footasylum
// JD Sports like-for-likes up 5%
// Total sales up 15%
// Retailer confident pre-tax profits to be at the upper end of market expectations.

JD Sports has posted strong like-for-likes sales growth, allowing the retailer to feel upbeat about meeting a full-year profit target at the upper end of market expectations.

In a trading update covering the 48 weeks to January 5, the sportswear retailer said like-for-like sales increased five per cent, boosted by strong sales around Black Friday.

Meanwhile, total sales increased 15 per cent during the period.

The retailer said it was confident that its full-year pre-tax profit for the fiscal year ending February 2 would be at the upper end of market expectations, which currently ranges between £325 million and £352 million.

It added that its gross profit margins were maintained as it did not enter into “short-term reactive discounting unnecessarily” during the period.

JD sports said it was pleased with the its trading performance despite the “challenges within the wider UK retail market” and it reflected its diverse offering both in stores and online as well as its international presence.

“I am pleased with the continued progress of the group both in terms of our performance in existing markets and the recent positive developments in the US,” JD Sports executive chairman Peter Cowgill said.

“We are confident that domestically and internationally, in stores and online, our unique and often exclusive sports fashion premium brand offer provides a solid foundation for future development.”

Last year, JD Sports acquired US sports retailer Finish Line and recently opened its first five JD stores in the region.

However, it warned that it was “too early to draw any conclusions” from its performance in the US so far, although it was encouraged by recent developments.

The retailer also said the transition to the enlarged site at its Kingsway warehouse near Rochdale caused some labour cost inefficiencies.

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