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Profits soar at Sports Direct

Profits at Sports Direct have soared so far this year with the sportswear group announcing a 22.7% rise in the nine weeks to March 31.

Total group sales for the period were up 14.3% to £317.4m while gross profit shot up 22.7% to £128.6m.

Like-for-like sales across the group’s sports retail arm rose 13.6% to £264.3m as gross profit also rose to £104.8m.

Sales across Sports Direct’s premium lifestyle division, which includes USC and Cruise but not Republic, which it bought earlier this year, soared by 76.5% to £18.0m as gross profit rose 42.0% to £7.1m. 

The brands division revenue also showed growth, increasing 0.3% to £35.1m, while gross margin increased 16.0% to £16.7m.

Chief executive Dave Forsey said: “The strength of this performance during the nine week period continues to demonstrate the resilience of our business model, especially in the UK.  Within our sports division online sales now represent around 15% of total sports retail sales.”

He added: “As we announced in the interim management statement in February 2013, we are certain of reaching our 2013 full year targeted underlying EBITDA of £270m before the charge for the bonus share schemes.”

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