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By
Reuters
Published
Sep 18, 2012
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JD Sports profit hit by losses in Blacks

By
Reuters
Published
Sep 18, 2012

LONDON - Britain's JD Sports Fashion reported an expected 82 percent drop in first half pretax profit as operating losses from its Blacks Leisure acquisition weighed on the group, but said it remained well positioned to hit full-year targets.

The clothing and footwear firm, which sells merchandise from top brands like Nike and Adidas, said on Tuesday profit before tax and exceptional items for the six months to July 28 was almost 2.9 million pounds ($4.72 million), down from 16 million pounds a year ago.

Revenue in the period grew by 26 percent to 556 million pounds, with like for like sales in the UK and Ireland combined core retail segments up 1.1 percent.

JD said the loss in outdoor clothing retailer Blacks, bought for 20 million pounds from administrators in January, was 10 million in the period due to problems with a lack of stock and a high cost base but added that it was now stabilising and aimed to break even in the second half.

Chairman Peter Cowgill said second half trading had so far been robust in its sports division but more difficult in fashion. Combined core like-for-like sales in the six weeks to Sept. 8 were up 1.6 percent, with good growth in the sport divisions offsetting a 6 percent decline in fashion.

Shares in the FTSE 250 listed group, which in August sold rugby brand Canterbury to Pentland for 22.7 million pounds, closed at 731.5 pence on Monday, up nearly 19 percent on three months ago, valuing the business at around 350 million pounds.

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