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Outdoor makes positive contribution

Profits rocket at retailer JD Sports

Leisurewear retailer JD Sports is defying the gloom on the high street with a 33% rise in pre-tax profit on a 41% increase in sales for the half-year to 29 July. Its shares leapt 9% in early trade.

The company, which includes the Tiso and Go Outdoors chains, added 12 stores but reported further like-for-like sales growth in stores and online.

Outdoor, including Go Outdoors for the first time, has delivered a positive result in the first half for the first time with an operating profit of £0.1m (2016: loss of £2.3m)

Pre-tax profit hit at £102.7 million and the company declared a 4% rise in the interim dividend from 0.25p to 0.26p.

Peter Cowgill, executive chairman, said: “I am delighted to report that the Group continues to make strong progress.

“This is another pleasing result demonstrating the strength of our highly differentiated multichannel proposition and our ability to prosper in an increasingly competitive market for athletic inspired footwear and apparel.

“The base of our ongoing excellent multichannel retail performance comes from the continued strength of our core UK and Ireland Sports Fashion fascias.

“We have strengthened our foundations by significant progression internationally both instore and online so that the JD fascia now has a much broader store and multichannel consumer reach and brand influence globally.

“We are encouraged by the sales to date in the second half which have continued at similar levels to those in the first half supporting our continued confidence in the robustness of the JD proposition.

“We expect the year end outturn to be towards the upper end of market expectations,  which currently range from approximately £268 million to £290 million, and remain confident that we are appropriately positioned to deliver further profitable growth and enhance long term shareholder value.”

The company expects full-year results to be at the “upper end” of market expectations.

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