Pentland Group’s revenue soared 38.9% to £5.1bn for the year to 31 December, fuelled by a record-breaking performance from JD Sports Fashion.
Group operating profit, before amortisation of intangibles and exceptional items, was up by 9.3% for the year to £411m. Group net assets increased by 31% compared with 2017 to £1.7bn.
Pentland Group is the majority shareholder in JD Sports. During the year the retailer opened 83 new stores, including 78 in international markets. It bought US retailer Finish Line and Sport Zone, one of the largest multi-branded sports retailers in the Iberian peninsula.
In its branded division, Pentland Brands bought cycling brand Endura. It had double-digit revenue growth for the Ellesse brand globally, including the launch of Ellesse footwear in the US. Speedo had strong revenue growth, including a 40% increase in sales in China. It was also appointed the global footwear licence partner for Karen Millen.
In January 2018, following a 26-year footwear licensing partnership with the Lacoste Group, Pentland Group entered into a joint-venture footwear business with Lacoste and also sold its Ted Baker footwear subsidiary back to the brand owner.
Stephen Rubin, chairman of Pentland Group, said: “These results demonstrate our commitment to nurturing our brands and evolving our business to ensure that we meet the changing needs of our retail customers, brand partners and consumers. Today, Pentland Group’s products are sold in approximately 190 countries, and we employ over 50,000 people.
“Our group reflects the diversity, passion and capability of the people involved and I would like to thank all our employees for their valued contribution and dedication. It is of particular pride to all of us that during the year, we were awarded our sixth Queen’s Award for Enterprise, in recognition of our outstanding record in international trade.”