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Mike Ashley group profits crumble

Pre-tax profits have fallen by 80% to £20.87m at Mash Holdings, Mike Ashley’s investment firm, for the year to 29 April 2018.

Mash Holdings controls the businessman’s stake in Sports Direct International, as well as investments in the Newcastle United Football Club

Despite the pre-tax loss, operating profits for the period more than doubled to £165.5m.

The figures for the group are from the period before Sports Direct’s takeover of House of Fraser for £90m in August 2019. The report notes that since the acquisition, Sports Direct has invested a “similar amount” into the business to “kick start the supply chain”. It also purchased the Glasgow Frasers store for £95m.

The report also raises a note of caution over how Brexit may impact the business: “There is significant uncertainty over the impact that leaving the EU will have on the SDI [Sports Direct] group. While we are unable to fully protect the Sports Direct group from what is potentially a completely new economic landscape, we have some elements which help to protect us.”

Investment in automation at the Shirebrook warehouse to increase productivity and mitigate staffing shortfalls after Brexit was one example of the measures in place.

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