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JJB records 52% sales fall

JJB Sports has warned of “difficult” trading as sales over the 20 weeks to December 13 fell 52%.

For the 20-week period to December 13, group revenue was 52% lower than the same period last year. On a like-for-like basis, total revenue was 29% lower.

The sports retailer reported like-for-like sales in August were down 37%, in September and October were down 27% and in November were down 21%.

In the first three weeks of December, like-for-likes fell back to 32% down because last year the retailer started its Sale on November 25 and continued to March 2009.

This year the retailer’s Sale will start on December 26 and it expects to launch its spring ranges before the end of January.

The retailer said in a statement: “We do not expect to receive our full stock package until the first quarter of 2010. Consequently we continue to be cautious about Christmas and New Year and expect that trading within the current environment will remain difficult.”

JJB said it is starting to take delivery of the new stock and that stock holding has improved since the half year when it was £50m and is now 19% lower than the same period last year.

Following its £100m capital raising, the proceeds were used to pay down the company’s borrowings with Bank of Scotland of £30.5m. The facility has now been amended to a 3-year £25m facility expiring on September 30, 2012.

The retailer revealed earlier this month that it had appointed former DSGi group retail director Keith Jones as its new chief executive. He will start on March 1.

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