JD Sports Fashion recorded like-for-like sales growth of 6% and total sales growth of 19% to £298.95 million for the 26 weeks ended August 2.
JD Sports Fashion said that group profit before tax and exceptional items was up 54% to £12.4m for the period. Profit before tax was up 71% to £9.1m after a £3.3m charge relating to the write off of goodwill from the acquisition of the Hargreaves airport stores together with property portfolio rationalisation costs.
Within the performance JD Sports Fashion’s sports fascias reported a 5.9% like for like increase while its fashion fascias, which include Scotts and Bank, scored a 6.7% uplift. Gross margin improved from 48% to 48.2%.
The group said that like-for-like sales had continued to be strong with group performance up 5.8% from August 2 to September 13. This equated to a like-for-like sales rise of 5.4% within the sports division and 8.2% within the fashion division. JD Sports Fashion said it expected its fashion division to move into profit this year.
JD Sports Fashion executive chairman Peter Cowgill said: “We are delighted with the performance of the group during the period. Trading has been very positive with improved like-for-like sales and gross margin generating a significant increase in profit before tax and exceptional items. We continue to invest in our store portfolio, systems and training to provide a solid platform for future growth.”
Cowgill added: “The like-for-like sales performance in the balance of the year will be measured against very strong comparatives from last year and with the backdrop of challenging conditions for the consumer. Nevertheless, the board believes that the group is strongly positioned to deliver on market expectations.”