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JJB Sports posts a loss in 'worst retail recession ever'

JJB Sports has reported an adjusted loss before tax of £9.7m for the 26 weeks to July 27 as sales fell by 5.6% to £344.7 million.

JJB chief executive Chris Ronnie said JJB "remains very cautious" about the retail outlook.

Retail revenues were down from £332m last year to £309m this year. The chain closed 96 stores over the period and like-for-like sales fell by 4.5%.

Losses at recent acquisitions Original Shoe Company and Qube of £5.9m and £700,000, respectively, contributed to the group loss before tax, however trading at the two businesses is expected to improve during the second half.

The adjusted loss before tax figure of £9.7m is before crediting various exceptional items, which amounted to £9.3m. Loss before tax was £400,000.

Chairman Roger Lane-Smith said: "Non-executive board colleague David Jones, formerly chairman and chief executive of Next, has described the current climate as "the worst retail recession I have ever known". I can only say that David's statement is borne out by our trading results as reported today.

"Looking ahead we remain very cautious about the outlook for retail given the background of a weakening consumer economy. We have strong operational management in place in all parts of the business who are working hard to ensure that the needs of all our customers continue to be met. The board has taken the decision not to pay an interim dividend."

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