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Sports Direct bullish ahead of AGM

Sports Direct has said its new generation of flagship stores “continues to exceed our expectations”, as it prepares to hold its annual general meeting later today.

”We continue to elevate our store portfolio in the UK and elsewhere, typically through relocating smaller format stores to new generation stores in order to elevate our retail space and improve the experience for both our customers and our third party brand partners,” the business said in a statement this morning.

Sports Direct said it was on track to achieve between 5% and 15% growth in its underlying EBITDA by the end of its 2018 financial year, as previously stated on 20 July.

Chief executive Mike Ashley said: “We remain fully focused on our strategic goal of moving our core business towards the ‘Selfridges of sport’ in order to further strengthen our proposition and drive long-term profitability.

”We will continue to build on the positive progress that we have made over the last 12 months, which we outlined during a very constructive meeting with stakeholders in July.”

Sports Direct also clarified that it has increased its stake in premium mini-chain Flannels to 100%, not 75% as previously reported. The company said it thought Flannels would “would significantly enhance earnings” in its premium lifestyle division in the medium to long term. 

Flannels founder Neil Prosser ”will remain an integral part” of this division, it added.

Meanwhile, it is still unclear whether Sports Direct chairman Keith Hellawell will honour his promise to step down if he does not win the support of the majority of its independent shareholders at the AGM today.


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