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JD Sports reports record year as it opens new store

By Ravender Sembhy

JD Sports, which has 16 stores in Northern Ireland, has reported a record set of annual results as the retailer hailed an "exceptional year" and pointed to further growth despite Brexit-linked inflationary pressures.

The company opened its latest store at the National Stadium at Windsor Park in south Belfast last month.

Pre-tax profits at the sports-to-fashion chain rose by 81% to £238m in the year to January 28, while revenue grew 31% to £2.3bn.

Like-for-like sales grew 10% over the period and executive chairman Peter Cowgill said, in spite of rising inflation linked to the collapse in the pound following last year's vote, the firm is well placed for growth.

"Whilst we must recognise that there are external influences which may impact the latter part of the year, notably inflationary pressures arising from Brexit, the board remains confident in the robustness of the JD proposition and believes that the group is well positioned for further profitable growth," he added.

The pound's demise has ramped up costs for British businesses, many of which are having to raise prices for consumers as a result.

JD Sports added that while the UK's vote to leave the EU means there will be "some uncertainties for the immediately foreseeable future", its international expansion will have a "clear strategic focus".

The group opened 54 stores across Europe last year and a further two in Malaysia.

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