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By
Reuters
Published
Apr 15, 2015
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JD Sports cashes in on footwear demand to send profits surging

By
Reuters
Published
Apr 15, 2015

British retailer JD Sports Fashion posted a 22 percent rise in full-year profit as demand for branded trainers in the UK and Europe helped sales soar.

The company, which alongside its core sports retail business runs fashion and outdoor retail outlets such as Scotts and Blacks, said on Wednesday profit before tax and exceptional items for the year to Jan. 31 rose to 100 million pounds ($148 million), almost 6 percent ahead of forecasts.

The firm had raised profit expectations earlier this year after seeing strong sales growth and demand over Christmas.

Group revenue grew by a quarter in the year with its core sports business posting improving margins and like-for-like sales growth across the UK and Europe of 13 percent.

"This result and its ingredients provide a robust platform for further profitable growth, at home and internationally," Executive Chairman Peter Cowgill said on Wednesday.

JD Sports, which rivals Sports Direct in Britain, has the majority of its 850 stores in the UK, but is expanding overseas in the Netherlands, Spain, France and Germany.

The group said it was determined to reach profitability in its outdoor Blacks and Millets arm in its 2016/17 fiscal year. The unit, bought from administration in 2012, posted a reduced operating loss of 4.9 million pounds for the year.

Shares in the company closed at 509.5 pence on Tuesday, up 26 percent on a year ago, valuing the business at 985 million pounds.

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