JD Sports expects another year of record profits as sales rise

JD Sports
JD Sports profits set to match last year's record performance
// JD Sports expects to match last year’s record profits as like-for-likes jumped 5% in the first five months of the year
// The retailer is currently search for a new group CEO after long-time executive chair Peter Cowgill dramaticaly departed in May, in the midst of regulatory issues

JD Sports expects pre-tax profits to match last year’s record performance after like-for-like sales rose 5% year on year during its first five months of the current year.

The retailer updated the market ahead of its AGM today and said it expects that trading patterns will normalise as the year progresses, with approximately 35% to 40% of profits being generated in the first half of the year. 

Despite the continued strong performance, JD has been mired in controversy. The retailer’s long-time executive chairman Peter Cowgill dramatically left the business in May as it found itself in hot water with the CMA.

It was fined almost £5 million after breaching the rules around its blocked merger with Footasylum and is facing a hefty sanction after the CMA found evidence it had engaged in price fixing. 

It emerged this week that JD is in talks with private equity firm Aurelius Group to offload Footasylum, ending its long-running battle with the CMA.

The JD board, which was bolstered by the arrival of ex-Morrisons chair Andy Higginson as chair earlier this month, is undergoing a three-month intensive programme of works to address governance and regulatory compliance matters.

It also said it is working with external advisors on a “control, risk and compliance target operating model review”. 

The board said this will result in a detailed plan and resource requirement assessment to ensure that JD is compliant with its regulatory oblighations and that it conforms with the Corporate Government Code.

Higginson is now fully involved in the process to recruit a new group CEO at JD Sports. Former Adidas and North Face executive Kath Smith will continue to lead the business on an interim basis.


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