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Sales surge at Sports Direct as Olympics brings golden sales

Sports Direct has said its performance “continues to go from strength to strength” as the retailer posted a 20.4% rise in gross profit to £211.1m.

In the 13 weeks to July 29 group sales soared 25.3% to £519m, and Sports Direct International chief executive Dave Forsey said since the end of July trading has “remained equally strong, especially within the UK Sports Retail division where sales have also been boosted by the tremendous performance of Team GB at the London Olympics”.

Forsey added: “The board therefore continues to target our 2013 “super stretch” underlying EBITDA objective of £270m.”

Sports Direct’s strong performance comes as its arch rival JJB Sports continues to struggle. JJB put itself up for sale last week amid a period of terrible trading.

Sports retail sales at Sports Direct were up 19.9% to £441.4m, from £368.2m last year, while the division’s gross profit increased 14.8% to £179.2m.

Sales in its Premium Lifestyle division were £28.8m and gross profit came in at £12.1m. It acquired premium fashion chains USC and Cruise last year.

In the Brands division, revenue climbed 15.4% to £48.8m. Gross profit was up 10.6% to £19.8m.

During the period, the Sports Retail division opened eight and closed three core stores. It also opened three and closed four non-core stores.

The European Sports Retail arm opened nine stores: four in Belgium, two in Hungary, one in Slovenia, one in Portugal and one in France. One store in Cyprus and one store in Belgium were closed.

It has also opened a store in Iceland with a joint venture partner.

Forsey said: “During this unprecedented sporting summer our retail performance continues to go from strength to strength. As we outlined earlier this year, our unrivalled depth and breadth of product combined with the continued investment in lowering prices to our customers is underpinning this performance.”

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