Sports Direct scores £167m profit
Mike Ashley's Sports Direct retail business said it had enjoyed a decent summer despite England's early exit from the World Cup.
Sports Direct International, controlled by the Newcastle owner, reported an 11.6% rise in store sales to £365m in the 13 weeks to July 25, helping lift gross profits by 20% to £167m.
Chief executive David Forsey said: "Despite the performance of the England team during the World Cup, these results show Sports Direct had a good World Cup, although with better team results it could have been stronger."
Analysts said the strength of Sports Direct's retail profits came as a surprise given the likely impact on margins caused by stock left over following England's early World Cup exit.
The Nottinghamshire-based company has more than 350 stores in the UK, the majority trading under the Sports Direct.com fascia, with others branded Lillywhites, McGurks, Exsports, Gilesports and Hargreaves and Field & Trek.
It also owns a number of well-known sports and leisure brands, including Carlton, Donnay, Dunlop and Kangol.
Across the group, total sales were 8.8% higher at £408m in the quarter, while pre-tax profits increased 17.8% to £185m.