Belfast Telegraph

JD Sports profits hit by losses at Blacks

By Graeme Evans

Plans for the revival of ailing outdoor chain Blacks Leisure have been frustrated by poor Christmas trading and "significant" annual losses.

JD Sports Fashion, which bought Blacks out of administration a year ago, blamed the weak performance on merchandise brought in by a previous management team and said that it was confident that results will improve in 2013.

The update on Blacks offset another record period for the core JD Sports business, with like-for-like sales for the seven weeks to January 5 up by 3.2%.

Executive chairman Peter Cowgill said it had been "another very robust" performance from its sports stores in recent weeks.

Having closed around 100 of the worst-performing Blacks stores as it looks to eliminate a high rent bill, JD said the remaining portfolio and benefit of store refurbishments should boost the outlook for sales.

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