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JD invests in Focus Group

The John David Group is to invest in design and license business Focus Group after like-for-like sales at the sports retailer rose 11.8% for the 44 weeks to December 1.

JD said it had acquired 49% of Focus Brands which trades as Newco. Focus Brands is a new company set up to acquire Focus Group Holdings and its subsidiary Focus Group. Focus Group was founded in 1976 and owns or has the license for a selection of brands including Ecko, Sergio Tacchini, U aRe U and G Unit. Focus Group’s Converse license has been transferred outside the group and will not be included in the transaction.

JD has the right to buy the remaining capital of Focus Group within five years.

Separately, JD has outperformed the high street in a difficult climate. The sports fascias posted like-for-like growth of 12.4% for the 44 weeks to December 1 and the fashion fascias fared showed comparable sales growth of 2%.

The board said that pre-tax profit for the financial year would exceed market expectations but said that the Christmas trading period remained critical to the end results.

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