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‘Record half’ for JD Sports

JD Sports Fashion had another record half year for the 26 weeks to 4 August as group EBITDA jumped 26% year on year to £171.8m.

Revenue increased 35% to £1.8bn while profit before tax was up 19% compared to 2017.

The business said total like-for-like sales were “encouraging” with growth of 3% despite a backdrop of “widely reported retail challenges” in the UK.

During the half JD Sports continued its international expansion opening a net of 18 stores across mainland Europe and a net of 21 stores in Asia Pacific including its first stores in South Korea and Singapore.

The business will trial the JD fascia for the first time in the US in the second half of this financial year following the acquisition of US retailer Finish Line earlier in the year.

Peter Cowgill, executive chairman, said: “This is another record result for our group demonstrating that our multibrand multichannel premium offer has resilient profitability in its core UK and Ireland market with capacity for continued growth across an increasing number of international markets.

“Against a backdrop of widely reported retail challenges in the UK, it is extremely reassuring that the profitability in the UK and Ireland sports fascias has been further enhanced. This reflects the value of the investments that we have made over a number of years in developing a dynamic multichannel proposition which marries the best of physical and digital retail enabling customers to interact with us where and when they want and through the channel of their choice.

“Sales to date in the second half have continued at similar levels to those in the first half supporting our continued confidence in the robustness of the JD proposition. We remain confident that we are well positioned to deliver an outturn in line with current market expectations which, including a part year from Finish Line, range from £337m to £345m and we also remain encouraged by our prospects for future growth.”

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