JD Sports sales and profits are on track
Peter Cowgill is a busy man at the moment as he gets ready to become non-executive chairman of fashion retailer Quiz next month. But on Thursday he was fully focused on his other day job, as executive chairman of fast-expanding JD Sports Fashion.
The retail giant has its annual general meeting on Thursday and issued a statement that Cowgill will make at the AGM affirming that current trading continues to be strong.
He said he was “pleased” to confirm that “growth to date in group like-for-like store sales and further significant growth in the group's online sales have been in line with our expectations.”
His statement may not have given much away but that was perhaps no surprise given the major calendar and event effects that have happened this year to make comparisons with last year’s trading a tough call.
Cowgill added in explanation: ”Since we reported our results for the last financial year, we have moved into a further period of year-on-year calendar differences, notably Eid, which has also led us to adjust the timing of our clearance period. Therefore, we do not believe our like-for-like store sales comparatives will be truly meaningful until the end of the first half, by which point the impact of the aforementioned timing differences and the strong comparatives from the performance through last year's Euros tournament will all have fully unwound.”
In short, the major Euro 2016 football championship last year skewed the figures and the fact that Eid was June 25/26 this year but July 6/7 last year also distorted the sales picture.
So what else did we learn on Thursday? Cowgill said the company has continued to expand the JD store estate across the UK and overseas with a net increase of 28 stores in the period to June 24. Notable new openings have included its first two JD stores in Australia and a further two stores in Malaysia.
He also said the firm has “faced some anticipated margin pressure in achieving the sales growth,” but the board “considers that the group is currently on track to deliver a result for the full year in line with market expectations.” The company’s first half results will be released on September 12.
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