Another day, another chapter in the saga that is Sports Direct.

If you were to compare Mike Ashley’s value sportswear retailer to an epic novel (stay with us) it would be a grim Dickensian tome: Bleak House perhaps. 

The retailer today unveiled a 57% plunge in underlying pre-tax profits for its first half, with its lack of hedging dragging its margins down.

Sports Direct has become synonymous with warehouse conditions over the past year and boss Ashley admitted today that it has been a “tough” six months for its people and the business.

But it’s not all doom and gloom up at Shirebrook – see Today in numbers below for more.

Meanwhile, Arcadia workers once more voted to strike over wages and in Ocado’s results, finance boss Duncan Tatton-Brown indicated that its new Andover warehouse could prove the catalyst for a long-awaited international deal.

Quote of the day

“If I talk about it like buying a car – if you were buying a BMW and you’d seen the 2002 model, you’d seen the 2012 model, and then BMW said they had a really good model coming out in 2016, are you likely to buy it?

“The answer is yes, you trust that BMW make good cars, so you’d buy one. But you are sure as hell more likely to buy one when you can go to the showroom, see the car and drive it”

Ocado’s finance boss Duncan Tatton-Brown elaborates on how the business’s new fulfilment centre would help its negotiations with international retailers

Today in numbers


The cost of the private jet acquired by Sports Direct

Tomorrow’s agenda

No updates tomorrow but look out for our interview with British Fashion Council boss Caroline Rush and a ’hot or not’ look back at a turbulent fashion year.

Becky Waller-Davies, fashion reporter