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FTSE 100 (close): 6,461.7, -38.34 (0.59%)

Sports Direct defies poor England show in Brazil

Thursday close:  UK stocks were treading water all morning after sinking to a five-week low, though gains were only modest ahead of a data-heavy session. Sentiment was helped by a small rebound in the energy sector, but traders continued to fret over weakness in the eurozone and in Greece in particular.

Sports Direct topped the company results statements with half-year figures showing it continued to put on sales and profit despite England’s early exit from the World Cup. The shares were off slightly, by 1.3% to close at 666p.

Helal Miah, investment research analyst at The Share Centre,  said the figures were in-line with expectations. Revenue up to the 26 October, rose by 6.5% to £1.4 billion and the earnings per share rose by 4.1% to 19.4p.

“These figures should be relatively pleasing given England’s early exit from the World Cup and the unseasonably warm autumn weather dampening customer footfall,” said Miah.

During the period the company has rolled out large format city centre stores, signed 26 new licence agreements and continued to invest in inventory optimisation and product offerings. Management remains confident of meeting full year EBITDA of £360m and has a target of 30-40 store openings.

Miah recommends Sports Direct as a ‘buy’ for medium risk investors looking for capital growth.

Wood Group unveiled its biggest contract this year and a small acquisition in the US. It also said its business would be able to resist the downward pressures in the oil price. The shares closed up 1.2% at 569.25p

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