JD Sports Fashion’s profits were hit by losses from outdoor retailer Blacks, which it acquired last year, however the City seems positive about its the long term prospects.
“The overall trend of sports performing strongly and fashion remaining challenging continues, and is also reflected in current trading. Outdoor reported a loss of £14.9m, in line with expectations. More detail has been given on plans for Outdoor, which should be welcomed. JD is too cheap in our view.” Bethany Hocking, Investec
Final results to end of January were broadly in line with revised expectations. Better than expected results from the company’s core sport retail division were offset by weaker than expected figures from Blacks Leisure and the fashion retail division. We continue to believe JD Sports is oversold. The stock is the lowest rated in our universe and has a dividend yield of 4%, which we believe will not be cut because of the strength of the company’s balance sheet.” Freddie George, Cantor Fitzgerald
“Despite the painfully large £14.9m loss in the old Blacks business last year, which knocked group pre-tax profit back to £61.3m in year ending January, the news is actually quite good, with the outdoor division enjoying a decent start to the new-year, thanks to the cold weather.” Nick Bubb, independent analyst
“Performance in JD Sports’ traditional market remains largely positive. Nevertheless, JD has missed opportunities to further boost sales in the last year, with rival Sports Direct doing more to capitalise on the Olympics and the closure of JJB Sports.
Moreover, it has now been a year since JD Sports acquired ailing outdoor retailers Blacks and Millets, with the business continuing to struggle. Having closed 127 branches to date, the final outdoor portfolio will stand at 140. Whilst this by no means gives JD Sports a monopoly over the outdoor leisure market, it at least expects to make a profit out of the brands in the medium term.”Anusha Couttigane, Conlumino
“Today’s JD Sports results may not be top of the league table, but the sports fashion group is rightfully persevering with a bullish growth strategy. Last year’s acquisition of Blacks Leisure continues to weigh down on the group’s overall performance but restructuring of the outdoor arm is due to start paying off this year.
JD Sports is expanding internationally and has been busy picking up diverse brands, such as online shoe retailer Cloggs. These international and multichannel developments mean that JD Sports will be set for success and chief rival, Sports Direct, will have a fight on its hands for sports supremacy.” Dan Coen, Zolfo Cooper