JD Sports Fashion has reported a surge in full-year sales and profits and an encouraging start to the new year.

The apparel group, whose chains include Bank and Scotts as well as the eponymous JD Sports, generated a 9 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to £38.2m on sales 13.3 per cent up at £670.9m for the year to January 31.

Group profit before tax and exceptionals, totalling £16.3m and relating to matters including impairment of JD’s investment in rival JJB, was up 24 per cent to £53.6m.

Like-for-likes advanced 3.9 per cent over the year - the sports fascias were up 3.3 per cent and fashion stores 7.9 per cent.

In the first nine weeks of the new year group like-for-likes rose 0.3 per cent - down 0.2 per cent at the sports fascias and up 3.6 per cent in fashion.

JD Sports executive chairman Peter Cowgill said the full-year figures represented “the fifth successive year of good progress in revenue and profitability” and that performance since the year-end was “encouraging” given trading and economic conditions and the inclusion in last year’s comparable figures of the entire Easter trading period.

Cowgill said: “The sports fascias’ strong performance in recent years with regards to like-for-like sales and gross margins means that further improvement in these areas is increasingly challenging.

“Nevertheless the new year has started satisfactorily and we have a well differentiated proposition.”