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Sports Direct golden profits fuelled by Olympic boom

Sports Direct’s gross profit shot up over August and September as sales benefitted from the Olympics and the back-to-school period.

In the nine weeks to September 30 gross profit jumped 21.7% to £167.4m as total group sales rose 18% to £402.7m.

Gross profits across the retailer’s sports retail arm increased by 20.5% to £142.8m as sales rose by 16.8% to £344.7m.

The Mike Ashley-owned business recorded an 18.8% rise to £7.6m in gross profits at its premium lifestyle division, which includes fashion chains USC and Cruise. Sales at the division soared 43% to £18.3m.

Revenues at its brands division, which includes young fashion brand Firetrap and Hot Tuna, increased 18.9% to £39.7m with gross profit increasing 33.9% to £17.0m.

Firetrap recorded wholesale sales of £7.8m while delivering a gross profit of £3.3m.

Chief executive Dave Forsey said: “The group has continued to deliver strong growth through the second quarter, especially within the UK Sports Retail division where sales and margins benefited from the London Olympics and an excellent ‘back to school’ period.”

He added that since the end of September trading has remained “equally strong”, the board is confident of reaching the full year targeted “super stretch” underlying EBITDA of £270m.

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