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JD festive like-for-likes rise

JD Sports Fashion’s like-for-like festive sales lifted 1.6% despite its fashion fascias suffering a dip in sales.

In the five weeks to January 7 like-for-like sales at the group’s sports fascias, which include JD, Size?, Chausport, Sprinter and Champion Sports, increased by 2.3%. However like-for-like sales at JD’s fashion fascias including Bank, Scotts and Cecil Gee dropped by 0.7% during the period.

When taking into account the impact of the additional VAT sales increased 0.1%. The retailer said it had been able to maintain gross profit margins “broadly in line” with the year before.

JD said that although the recent acquisition of Blacks Leisure will lead to a small reduction in earnings this year, its full year results will be within the range of previously forecast expectations.

JD said French sports footwear chain Chausport, which it acquired in 2009, performed well during the period and despite Irish sports fashion retailer Champion’s sales continuing to be affected by the tough economic conditions in Ireland JD said it was offset by a “significant improvement in their margins from improved operational execution”.

Spanish fashion and footwear chain Sprinter saw a marginal decline in sales but the young fashion and sportswear giant is set to open the first JD stores in Spain in the first half of the year as the group is pleased with the overall direction of the business.

Executive chairman Peter Cowgill said: “I would like to thank all our staff who through their efforts and commitment in this busy trading period, have helped deliver this creditable result.”

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