Belfast Telegraph

JD Sports shares plummet as sales are hit by timing of Islamic festival Eid

Shares in JD Sports took a dive on Thursday after the retailer said it was facing "margin pressure" and that comparative sales will be impacted by the timing of the Islamic festival of Eid.

The firm said that Eid, which marks the end of Ramadan, meant it had to adjust the timing of its clearance period.

"Therefore, we do not believe our like-for-like store sales comparatives will be truly meaningful until the end of the first half, by which point the impact of the aforementioned timing differences and the strong comparatives from the performance through last year's Euros tournament will all have fully unwound," JD Sports said.

Shares plummeted by more than 9% to 361.4p in morning trading.

This was despite the company saying that like-for-like growth and online sales have been in line with expectations, with the group on track to deliver full-year results within forecasts.

JD Sports said it continues to expand across the UK and overseas, with a net increase of 28 stores in the period to June 24, including its first JD stores in Australia and Malaysia.

In April, the firm reported a record set of annual results as the retailer hailed an "exceptional year" and pointed to further growth, despite Brexit-linked inflationary pressures.

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

Jonathan Pritchard, analyst at Peel Hunt, said: "Expectations have mostly caught up with reality, but the fact that forecasts have precisely doubled in the last two years, an extraordinary run, made that certain to happen at some stage."