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JD Sports pumps up Pentland profits

Pentland Group, the brand management company and majority stakeholder in JD Sports Fashion, announced an increase in group revenue of 25% to £3.6bn, driven by “a record performance” from the sportswear retailer, in the 12 months to 31 December 2017 year on year.

Group operating profits (before amortisation and exceptional items) rose by 14% to £376m from £331m in 2016 and net assets increased by 22% to £1.28bn. 

It said the rise was driven by ongoing investment in its multichannel proposition, focusing on improvements in buying, merchandising and retail disciplines and “continued success in offering customers the best combination of physical an digital retail on an increasingly global scale”.

JD Sports Fashion reported record profits in April and has since completed its acquisition of US sportswear retailer Finish Line. 

The group announced some of its other brands delivered strong performance. Ellesse showed revenue growth of 21%, “building on a continued favourable trend in sports fashion”. Speedo achieved 8% sales growth as a result of moving to a direct-to-consumer business model in China in 2016.

During the financial year, the Pentland Brands division restructured to streamline the organisation, and created a joint venture with the Lacoste Group.

Chairman of Pentland Group Stephen Rubin said: “We are very grateful to all our people for their passion and dedication to ensuring that we build our business, doing business the right way.”

Pentland Group owns Speedo, Berghaus, Canterbury of New Zealand, Boxfresh, Ellesse and Mitre. It is the global licensee for Ted Baker footwear, Karen Millen footwear and Kickers in the UK, and has a joint venture partnership for Lacoste footwear. 

It bought US footwear brand SeaVees in 2017 and cycling brand Endura earlier this year.

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