Profit before tax and exceptional items at JD Sports Fashion has doubled to £19.9m for the 26 weeks to August 2, despite losses growing to £8.2m in the fashion division.
The operating loss in the fashion arm increased from £6.8m to £8.2m, although that includes £700,000 of pre-opening costs for new menswear concept Open.
The outdoor division cut its loss to £5.6m from £8.9m in the first half of 2013, with “considerable progress” made in Blacks and Millets.
Operating profits soared to £34.8m in the sports division from £26.1m last year.
Group revenue climbed 27% to £7.2bn from £5.7bn in 2013.
Executive chairman Peter Cowgill said the fashion arm continued to disappoint, although he noted the second half is usually stronger for the fashion brands.
He added: “The board recognises the demanding comparatives of the second half of the last financial year, particularly in the core UK and Ireland sports fascias where like-for-like sales increased by 11.2%, as well as our significant dependence on Christmas trading, but following the robust performance of the business in the first half believes the group is well positioned to deliver results towards the upper end of current market expectations.”