Belfast Telegraph

Record profits of £46million for flourishing JD Sports

By Roger Baird

JD Sports, which has around 10 stores in Northern Ireland, shrugged off the high street gloom to post record half-year profits.

The Bury-based firm, which also owns Blacks and Millets, said underlying pre-tax profits leapt 83% to a better-than-forecast £46.6m in the 26 weeks to August 1, driven by 10% like-for-like sales growth at its sports shops for the second year in a row. Shares also lifted by 2%.

Analysts had expected interim profits of around £35m, after the FTSE 250 company said in July that its full-year pre-tax profit would be about 10% ahead of City forecasts of around £110m.

The group, which runs more than 800 stores across the UK and Europe, said its sports shops performed strongly in an extremely competitive market.

It added that, like a number of retailers, its earnings would be impacted by the introduction of the national living wage next year, but it did not provide a more detailed update.

The minimum wage will be set at £7.20 an hour for the over-25s from April, and is forecast to rise to £9.35 by 2020.

Belfast Telegraph