// Sports Direct shareholders to meet on Monday to vote on rebrand to Frasers Group
// Monday will also see Mike Ashley’s company report its half-year sales for the period to October
// Sports Direct shares have continued to rise following a slump in July
Sports Direct shareholders are set to vote on whether the firm rebrands as Frasers Group during a general meeting on Monday.
The spotlight will also be on the company, founded and majority-owned by Mike Ashley, as it reports its half-year sales for the period to October.
The firm, formally known as Sports Direct International, has seen its shares perform ahead of its retail rivals over the past 12 months, rising 42 per cent, despite what has been a challenging year.
- Sports Direct criticises Harrods for Milton Keynes House of Fraser closure
- Future of Edingburgh’s Jenners uncertain amid restoration plans
- Sports Direct International will soon rebrand to Frasers Group
Sports Direct shares have continued to rise following a slump in July, when it grabbed headlines for delaying its full-year report due to a surprise £600 million Belgian tax bill.
The same full-year report also saw Sports Direct warn of “terminal” problems in its House of Fraser chain, prompting creditors to extend the department store’s administration by another year.
However, investors appeared to welcome Ashley’s suggestion in October that Sports Direct’s recent acquisition spree has been placed on hold.
Brokers expect the company to post higher sales as it also hopes to stem a fall in profits, as cost pressures continue to weigh on high street retailers.
In July, Sports Direct reported that sales across the company grew 10.2 per cent to £3.7 billion in the year to April.
However, its key retail business, which trades under the Sports Direct brand, saw sales rise by just 0.3 per cent to £2.19 billion, although on a like-for-like basis, which excludes new stores, it fell 1.6 per cent.
Sports Direct also expressed regret over buying House of Fraser out of administration in August last year, after the department store on its own booked an operating loss of £54.6 million on the back of revenues of £330.6 million.
On Monday, Sports Direct shareholders will attend a general meeting in London to vote on proposals to rebrand the listed company as Frasers Group.
Sports Direct said the rebrand has been proposed to “reflect the changing profile and consumer proposition of the group” amid a continued effort to improve its image.
The move comes amid plans to launch a new lifestyle store chain called Frasers on the high street within the new financial year.
Sports Direct is reportedly eyeing somewhere between 15 to 31 House of Fraser stores that could receive millions of pounds of investment over the next five years in order to relaunch it and take it upmarket under the Frasers fascia.
Sports Direct said the move is “reflective of the business strategy of the company to elevate its retail proposition across all channels and demonstrates the transformation of the company over recent years into the holder of a diversified portfolio of sports, fitness, fashion and lifestyle fascias”.
Should the rebrand be approved, Frasers Group would encompass Sports Direct, House of Fraser, Flannels, Evans Cycles, Jack Wills, Sofa.com, Game Digital, USC, and Frasers.
with PA Wires