Greater Manchester based JD Sports reported a record first-half profit as lockdowns eased and people visited its shops in Britain
The company said it expects earnings in the year ending Jan. 29th to more than double from a year earlier even as it navigates global supply chain constraints and Brexit disruptions, which it said limited its sales.
It posted profit before tax and exceptional items of £439.5 million. That was up from £61.9 million a year earlier when retailers were hammered by lockdowns, but it was also higher than before the Covid-19 crisis, with £158.6 million recorded in the same period in 2019.
Peter Cowgill, Executive Chairman, said:
“The Group continues to demonstrate outstanding resilience in the face of numerous challenges arising from the continued prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic in many countries, widespread strain on international logistics and other supply chain challenges, materially lower levels of footfall into stores in many countries after reopening and the ongoing administrative and cost consequences resulting from the loss of tariff free, frictionless trade with the European Union. Given these challenges, the record result that the Group has delivered in the first half is extremely encouraging.
“Ultimately, the Group is at the pinnacle of the global sports fashion industry with consumers instinctively knowing that our retail propositions focus on their fashion desires and aspirations in both footwear and apparel, with an agile multichannel ecosystem delivering the highest standards of retail execution and consumer experience. This is respected by the international brands who regularly call JD out as a premier global strategic partner.
“We remain absolutely confident that our inherent strengths in retail dynamics and operations provide us with a robust platform to make further progress.
“At this time, we are generally encouraged by our performance in the first few weeks of the second half although retail footfall remains comparatively weak in many countries. Assuming a prudent but realistic set of assumptions for the peak trading period ahead which take into account the absence of stimulus in the United States for the second half of the year, in addition to current industry-wide supply chain challenges, we presently anticipate delivering a headline profit before tax for the full year of at least £750 million.
“The JD brand is increasingly recognised on a global basis and this result bears testimony to the underlying strength of our business. I would like to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to everyone in all of our Group businesses for their remarkable contribution in delivering these excellent results during such a challenging period.”