JD Sports Fashion-owned Blacks will generate a loss of £10m this year, despite the group reporting marginal improvement in like-for-like sales across its retail portfolio.
However, in its interim management statement today, the retailer said that while it is continuing to address significant operating issues in turning the Blacks business around, operating loss for Blacks this year will be £10m with potentially a further £5m of restructuring charges.
JD said the bulk of the loss will come in the first half of the year. The interim management statement added: “Whilst the business continues to restructure its store portfolio and operate with legacy buying decisions, it is difficult to be more precise on the short term outlook, but we remain of the view that Black’s market position can be exploited profitably in the medium term. Our immediate priority is to significantly improve the customer proposition.”
For the 19 weeks to June 9 like-for-like sales increased by 1.5%. Sales across the retailer’s sports fascias including JD, Size?, Chausport, Sprinter and Champion Sports increased by 1.2% and its fashion fascias including Scotts, Cecil Gee and Bank increased by 3%.
The retailer said that gross margin continued to be under pressure in what it called an “offer driven market”. It added that this pressure and additional overhead to support international retail, licensing and multichannel development will impact the results, particularly in the first half.