// JD Sports reports record earnings for the first half on robust demand for runners and sportswear
// Pretax profit rose to £364.6m for the six months ended July 31 from £41.5m a year ago
JD Sports has reported record first-half results, boosted by pent-up demand for sneakers and sportswear after UK stores reopened from lockdown.
But the retailer said it was withholding its interim dividend and hinted instead at a “larger full year dividend”.
The company warned that footfall remained weak in many countries and supply chain challenges prevented its businesses from meeting strong demand in some categories, including bikes and cycling-related accessories.
It forecast headline pretax profit for the full year ending January 29 to be at least £750 million.
It had reported a pretax profit of €348.5m last year and £339.9 million in fiscal 2019.
The retailer said profit before tax and exceptional items rose to £439.5 million for the six months ended July 31 from £61.9 million in 2020 and £158.6 million the year before that.
JD Sports chairman Peter Cowgill said: “The group continues to demonstrate outstanding resilience in the face of numerous challenges arising from the continued prevalence of the Covid-19 pandemic in many countries, widespread strain on international logistics and other supply chain challenges, materially lower levels of footfall into stores in many countries after reopening and the ongoing administrative and cost consequences resulting from the loss of tariff free, frictionless trade with the European Union.”
Trading in the first few weeks of the second half has been generally encouraging though retail footfall is comparatively weak in many countries, JD said.