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JJB thrown lifeline as Dick's takes stake in retailer

JJB Sports has received a £30m injection from investors including Dick’s Sporting Goods as it posts a full year pre-tax loss of £101.1m.

Dick’s is to invest £20m in new shares and convertible load notes, and has the right to invest a further £20m in loan notes. Investment firms IAML, Harris Associates, Crystal Amber and BMGFT - the firm’s four largest shareholders – have also invested an addition £10m into JJB.

JJB Sports said the alliance gave it the opportunity to “draw on Dick’s experience” in the sports retail market.  At least one representative from Dick’s is expected to join the JJB board.

JJB chief executive Keith Jones said: “We believe this investment package and strategic alliance with Dick’s will provide a real opportunity to accelerate JJB’s turnaround.”

In its full year to January 29, JJB’s pretax loss was cut by 44% from £181.4m to £101.1m. The figure includes a one-off £47.2m exceptional charge.

Sales for the year dropped 21.7% to £284.2m as a result of the store closures following its second CVA last year. It has closed 41 stores so far. Like-for-like sales plunged 13.1% over the year, however, the decline has slowed in its current year. In the nine weeks to April 1 like-for-likes dipped 5.7%. 

However like-for-like gross margin has plummeted 24.9% in monetary terms over the nine week period.

Jones said: “We have always said that the turnaround of JJB was never going to be easy or quick, and the current retail environment has made our work even more difficult.

“But we have made significant progress since our restructuring in April last year. With the financial and commercial support we are announcing today, we can go further and faster and take advantage of the tremendous opportunities we see in our market in 2012 and beyond.”

Adidas has also agreed to provide JJB will a loan of up to £15m to invest in its store transformation programme.

The retailer plans to accelerate this programme ahead of the UEFA Euro Championships and the London 2012 Olympics as its revamped stores have shown a “strong performance”.

JJB’s lender Bank of Scotland has also agreed to extend its existing facility.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Absolute insanity! Any investment into JJB is a complete waste of time as the company will continue to lose money. Either Dick's are completely naive, which is the most likely scenario unless there's more to this than meets the eye. It has just been announced on Sky Business that JJB will require more money otherwise it is likely to fold.

    It's hard enough these days to get banks lending to companies that actually MAKE a profit, yet for some reason BOS want to get further in their hole with JJB and lose even more money. Madness.

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