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Sports Direct profits soar

Sports Direct has reported underlying pre-tax profit up 32.7% to £135.5m in its full year despite the consumer environment being “one of the toughest” it has ever seen.

For the year to April 24, sales were up 10.2% to a record £1.6bn. The sports retailer said the increase was due to a strong performance in the retail division where sales rose 11.9% to £1.4bn. The brands division sales fell by 1.5% in line with expectations to £187.7m.

UK retail like-for-likes were up 6.6% for the year.

Chief executive Dave Forsey said: “This has been an excellent year of growth for the group in what has been a challenging retail environment. Key to this growth has been the success of our employee bonus share scheme, which we introduced to focus the whole Group on our ambitious growth targets.”

Since the year end, Sports Direct has bought 80% stakes in USC and Cruise Clothing for £7m.

The retailer said the strength of its business model means it is “very well positioned for the challenges and targets for the next four years”. It said progress since year end is in line with management expectations and it is confident of reaching its current year target of underlying EBITDA of £215m.

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