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Drapers Top 100 2016 – 2. Peter Cowgill, executive chairman, JD Sports Fashion

Peter cowgill

It has been a record-setting year for JD Sports Fashion under the leadership of its executive chairman, Peter Cowgill. The group announced another set of positive results in April and has expanded internationally with a series of acquisitions. Revenue jumped 20% to £970.6m in the 26 weeks to 30 July, while  profit before tax soared 73% to £77.4m.

On the expansion trail, the retailer bought 187 stores from two Dutch sportswear chains – Perry Sport and Aktiesport – in March, acquired a majority stake in the Portuguese operator of The Athlete’s Foot in July, and bought Australian firm Next Athleisure, which operates young fashion retailer Glue Store, in September.

In the UK, it signed for a second store on London’s Oxford Street, and last month it bought outdoorwear chain Go Outdoors for £112.3m, to complement its existing chains Blacks, Millets, Ultimate Outdoors and Tiso.

This week, there were accusations of poor treatment of workers at JD’s warehouses. The company swiftly denied the claims, and has launched an investigation into working practices.

We look forward to seeing what Cowgill has up his sleeve for 2017.

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