Bury based JD Sports has brought some light to the gloomy world of retail this morning as the Company reported its profits jumped 24 per cent to a record £294.5m, slightly missing the £300m forecast posted early in the year.
In-store sales rose 3 per cent on a like-for-like basis, while online sales jumped 30 per cent.
In a successful year to February, it opened 56 stores with the JD fascia across Europe with further nine JD stores opened in the Asia Pacific region in the year including the first stores in Australia as well as opening the first JD store in South Korea.
The Company funded nearly £100 million of additional capital expenditure in the year.
JD has found success with fashionable sportswear for everyday life. In general, sports equipment and gym wear continue to defy the slump in UK retail sales.
Peter Cowgill, Executive Chairman, said:
“I am delighted to report that this has been another period of significant progress for the Group with headline profit before tax and exceptional items increasing by a further 26% to £307.4 million (2017: £244.8 million). This is an excellent result demonstrating our capacity for continuing growth in both existing and new markets, and the strength of our offer in store and online.
“After delivering a headline profit of £100 million for the first time in the year to January 2015, the headline profit has increased by more than £200 million over the subsequent three years, a rise in excess of 200%. This sustained growth could not have been achieved without a relentless and ongoing focus on a number of key principles which ensure we remain the undisputed consumer destination of choice for sport lifestyle footwear and apparel.
“The investments we have made over a number of years in developing our multichannel proposition and driving improved buying, merchandising and retail discipline have ultimately led to the creation of a world class sports fashion business which combines the best of physical and digital retail on an increasingly global scale.
“We are very encouraged by the progress that we are making internationally and we continue to look for further opportunities to bring our dynamic multichannel proposition to new markets around the world with the support of our key brands.
“The commitment of our employees is crucial to our success and I would like to thank everyone in our businesses for their support in delivering another set of excellent results. Their talent and energy is at the heart of our success and we remain committed to giving all our colleagues a quality work experience which is challenging yet rewarding.
“The Board remains confident in the robustness and international potential of the JD proposition and is excited by the major developments ahead.”