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Sports Direct margins hit by weak sterling

Sports Direct saw margins hit by the weak sterling over the 13 weeks ended January 25 but said that full year underlying EBITDA would be in line with expectations at around £135 million.

Sports Direct said total sales for the 13 week period were up 12% to £355m and gross profit rose by £1m to £143m.

Sports Direct said that sales in its UK retail division were ahead of expectations but that gross margin was impacted by the weaker sterling against the US dollar. It said a substantial proportion of the group’s imports are paid for in US dollars.

Sports Direct chief executive Dave Forsey said: “The board is pleased with the group’s trading performance during the quarter, particularly with the UK retail division which has benefited from specific management focus.”

“The weaker pound has had an adverse impact on margin in the period. However we continue to offer great value to our customers, while ensuring effective control of stock levels and costs, which we believe will continue to position the business well against the challenging market conditions.”

During the period Sports Direct opened 11 new stores in the UK and one new store overseas, but it also closed 17 UK stores and one overseas shop.

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