Retailer JD Sports has slightly missed its ambitious sales targets, but still appears to be dodging the UK high-street gloom.
In its results covering the year to early February, the company said its profits jumped 24 per cent to a record £294.5m, slightly missing the £300m forecast posted early in the year.
In-store sales rose 3 per cent on a like-for-like basis, while online sales jumped 30 per cent.
The retailer said operations in the UK and Ireland remained the “core” of its business, but it has also invested in online sales and launched an international expansion – opening 56 new stores across Europe and nine others further afield, including its first in Australia and South Korea. In March, the FTSE 250 company announced a deal to buy the US sneaker store Finish Line for around £400m, although that deal has yet to close.
JD Sports has found success with fashionable sportswear for everyday life. In general, sports equipment and gym wear continue to defy the slump in UK retail sales. In one sign of the trend, the ONS included women’s leggings in the UK inflation basket for the first time this year.
Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of the company, said he was “delighted” with the results, noting that “headline profit has increased by more than £200m” since 2015, rising more the 200 percent.
The investments we have made over a number of years in developing our multichannel proposition and driving improved buying, merchandising and retail discipline have ultimately led to the creation of a world class sports fashion business which combines the best of physical and digital retail on an increasingly global scale.