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Sports Direct sales jump 12%

Sportswear giant Sports Direct grew sales 12.1% to £416m, and gross profits 4% to £167m in the 13 weeks to January 23.

In its retail division, revenues were up 13.8% to £371m and gross profits increased 9.6% to £149m. The brands division recorded a sales increase of 2.2% to £46m, and a gross profit increase of 5.9% to £18m.

In the period, Sports Direct opened five shops and three temporary shops. It closed one shop, two temporary and four non-core stores. It converted three stores in Portugal and opened one in Slovenia.

Dave Forsey, chief executive of Sports Direct International, said: “Since the end of January, the group’s underlying performance has continued to be strong, especially within the UK retail division.

“Therefore we shall reach our full year targeted underlying EBITDA of £205m (before the charge for the bonus share scheme). During the remaining quarter and dependent on trading we will continually review further opportunities to invest in margin and or extra group marketing.”

He said in December the retailer said it had a net debt to underlying EBITDA ratio of 1.2 times. Due to the strong performance, it now targets a range of between 0.5 and one times EBITDA by the year end.

Sports Direct’s strong performance is in stark contrast to JJB Sports, which is currently undergoing a fundraisingand potential CVA.

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