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JD Sports like-for-likes drop in line with expectations

Young fashion giant JD Sports Fashion has said a recent drop in like-for-like sales is in line with expectations with comparatives hard to interpret due to last year’s football World Cup.

For the period from January 30 to June 4 cumulative like-for-like net sales in the UK and Republic of Ireland dropped by 2.8%. The group’s sports fascias which includes its eponymous chain, French chain Chausport and Irish chain Champion Sports showed a decline of 3%, whereas JD’s fashion fascias, which include the Bank and Scotts chains, saw a smaller decline of 1.6%. JD also said the margin deterioration was within the range of its expectations.

The interim management statement said: “Recent comparatives are made harder to interpret in terms of underlying trading trends as the period coincides with the run up to the World Cup 2010.”

In April JD warned of a tough outlook despite notching up a 28% increase in full year pre-tax profits. For the year to January 29 pre-tax profits were £78.6m on total group sales up 15% to £883.7m.

The statement said: “Our cautious outlook at the time of that announcement remains unchanged and continues to be based on the very clear downward pressures on levels of gross consumer expenditure in our market and the increased VAT take from such expenditure. Overall group trading remains in line with management’s expectations at that time.”

In April the group also reported UK and Ireland like-for-like gross retail sales growth of 0.4% and a like-for-like net sales decline of 1.2% for the 8 weeks to March 26.

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