24 October 2012 10:56
Sports Direct set a strong sales pace today, after its summer trading was lifted by the popularity of the Olympics as well as back-to-school demand.
The 400-store chain said today that total revenues jumped 18% to £402.7 million in the nine weeks to September 30th, including a rise of 17% to £344.7 million in its core sports retail business, where underlying profits increased by a fifth to £142.8 million.
The uplift in sales came in a period when rival JJB Sports conceded defeat in its battle for survival. Sports Direct bought 20 stores from JJB's administrators but this meant the closure of another 133 sites, with the loss of around 2,200 jobs.
Chief executive Dave Forsey said the period to September was buoyed by demand for products linked to the London Olympics and an "excellent" back to school period, while trading has been "equally strong" since then. He said the company was on track to meet its earnings target for the full-year of £270 million.
That will be enough to meet the latest annual target for the staff bonus scheme, which this summer saw 2,000 workers paid a £15,000 shares windfall.
Analysts expect that the removal of competition from JJB will help drive the company's growth.