JD Sports is eyeing further overseas expansion as chief executive Barry Bown said it would continue its acquisition spree.
Bown said: “The opportunity is big especially in France and Germany. There are lots of markets we’re not in where we want to be. We’re continually approached by other retailers who want to be associated with us or do a Joint Venture.”
The retailer bought 10 German Isico stores last year, which it plans to convert to JD this year. JD also has stores in the Netherlands and Spain.
Bown said JD would continue acquiring businesses and said “lots of things arrive on our table”.
JD Sports full-year profit before tax and exceptional items surged 27.3% to £77m powered by growth at the retailer’s core JD fascia.
Bown said that JD buyers deserved plaudits for the performance. He said: “They bought what the customer wanted throughout all categories.”
JD’s fashion businesses remained troubled, with losses widening to £6.4m over the year.
Bown said that “green shoots” were coming though at Bank. He said that Gwynn Milligan, who was brought in as managing director of Bank last year, is focusing on fast fashion and introducing more own label. It is also looking to introduce new third party brands to store.
“We’re looking to get a better balance to our product mix using the discipline that is stood JD is good stead,” Bown said.
JD is launching menswear store Open this year, as revealed by Retail Week. Bown said the first stores will open in the third quarter and will open six to 10 stores by the end of the year. He said he thought it was a “good time” to launch an own brand-only store.