JD Sportsruns up £100m in profits for the first time
Retailer JD Sports Fashion, which has around 10 stores in Northern Ireland, has hailed record annual results as demand for branded trainers helped profits hit £100m for the first time.
The group said pre-tax profits before exceptional items on continuing operations were up 22% for the year to the end of January. Shares rose 4%.
Like-for-like sales for its main sports fashion outlets were up 13% with "positive momentum in all of the territories in which we operate".
This was "driven by a buoyant market for branded athletic footwear and an excellent buying and merchandising performance".
Executive chairman Peter Cowgill said: "I am delighted to report that our continuing operations have delivered a record result for the year with a headline profit before tax and exceptional items in excess of £100m for the first time.
"This result and its ingredients provide a robust platform for further profitable growth, at home and internationally.
"This result has been driven by an outstanding performance where JD's unique and often exclusive sports and fashion premium brand offer continues to enthuse and excite both customers and suppliers."
He said the group was "well-positioned to exploit successfully the opportunities that exist for continued profitable growth". The final dividend was hiked by 4.2% to 5.9p.
The business had 660 sports fashion stores at the end of the financial year, including 351 JD Sports outlets in the UK and Ireland. Expansion in Europe continued with 19 new stores for JD and the Size? chain, taking the number on the continent to 70.