JD Sports Fashion has revealed flat like-for-likes in the 16 weeks to November 19.

However, taking into account the impact of the VAT rise in January, like-for-likes dropped 1.5% in the same period.

Like-for-likes at its sports business fell 1.6% while at its fashion arm fell 0.9%.

JD said: “The result for the full year remains, as usual, substantially dependant on the performance through the Christmas period. However, at this stage the Board believes the Group remains on course to deliver earnings in line with current expectations.

“Although we anticipate a tough Christmas trading period, our management and staff have a good track record for mobilising effectively through this key time of the year.”

JD said its performance since September 17 has been impacted by the “continuing downward pressures on all elements of discretionary consumer spending and the recent marked decline in consumer confidence”.

The retailer said it has worked hard to maintain margins, despite adverse pressure due to the trading environment.

JD opened a further two stores in France and is “encouraged by the potential for the Sprinter business in Spain since acquisition”. It expects to open its first stores in Spain in the first half of 2012.

The performance of Champion is still being affected by the “particularly difficult economic environment in the Republic of Ireland”, said JD. However, it added that “opportunities for future improvement exist with the right execution”.

It added that Canterbury has performed well in New Zealand and Australia assisted by the Rugby World Cup.

However, the performance of the rest of the global Canterbury business has been “mixed”, said JD.