Belfast Telegraph

Heavy loss for JD Sports' outdoor division

By Graeme Evans

Retailer JD Sports Fashion has warned its Blacks and Millets outdoor division is set for another "substantial" loss, despite a return to sales growth.

The division, which made a loss of £14.9m in its last financial year to February, had to sacrifice margins in order to achieve the positive like-for-like sales figure, with the return to profitability still a "work in progress".

JD said: "We expect the outdoor fascias to make a substantial but significantly reduced loss in the current year with the biggest improvement coming in the second half."

The Bury-based company has already admitted that the challenge of reviving the Blacks business, which it bought out of administration for £20m in January 2012, has been tougher than expected. It has closed more than 120 stores in the last year as it looks to eliminate a high rent bill by targeting an estate of around 140 outlets.

The company also recently announced a reprieve for the Millets name, which it now views as a good outlet for its own brands Peter Storm and Eurohike.

JD said trading in its main business of sports fashion retailing remained robust, with like-for-like sales up 7% in the 18 weeks to June 8. However, its fashion fascias of Bank and Scotts saw a decline of 5%.

120

Total number of Blacks stores closed by JD

Belfast Telegraph

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