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JD Sports Fashion sales take a hit

Sales growth at JD Sports Fashion has been hit by the economic downturn over the past two months, with the group reporting a 1% drop in like-for-like sales for the 11 weeks to November 9, compared with a 12.9% increase for the same period last year.

At the group’s sportswear chain sales were down 1.8% over the period. JD Sports Fashion said the performance had been impacted by the economic downturn, but that the figures were against tough comparatives last year.

The group’s fashion division was more resilient, with overall like-for-likes up 3%. Its young fashion chain Bank’s 8.7% rise helped offset the 6.8% drop at young fashion retailer Scotts.

JD Sports Fashion said in a statement: “The overall performance is not unexpected given last year’s strong comparatives in the sports fascias. The board remains confident that profit before tax and exceptional items for the current financial year will meet market expectations.”

JD Sports Fashion’s cumulative like-for-like sales were up 4% for the 43 weeks to November 29, with sports up 3.6% and fashion up 6.7%.

Last week, JD Sports sparked rumours that it could make a bid for rival JJB Sports, after it spent more than £8 million on a 10% stake in the group. The group said it had made the investment because of JJB’s “important place in the performance sports retail market”.

In October JD Sports Fashion was linked to a deal to buy JJB Sports’ lifestyle chains Original Shoe Co and Qube.

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