JD Sports Fashion pre-tax profit surged 61% to £61.4m in the year to January 30.

Profit before tax and exceptional items jumped 26% to £67.4m.

Revenue climbed 15% to £770m, including £48.1m from acquisitions including the rugby brand Canterbury Europe and French retailer, Chausport, which Retail Week revealed it was planning to buy in May last year.

Like-for-likes increased 2.5%, with its sports fascias increasing 2.3% and fashion fascias rising 3.6%.

In the 10 weeks to April 10 trading has been “encouraging”, according to the retailer, although like-for-like sales growth in the UK and Ireland slowed to 2% on an underlying basis, taking into account the change in the timing of Easter and school holidays.

However JD said margin improved 2% at its Fashion Fascias in the 10 week period.

Sports revenues increased 10% to £615.5m in the year, while fashion fascia Bank experienced a  4.7% uplift in revenue to £82.8m At its other fashion fascia, Scotts, total sales declined from £32m to £31.8m.

Since year end the retailer launched website getthelabel.com, which offers sports and fashion brands at discount prices. JD said it has made a “very encouraging start”.

Gross margin remained flat at 49.3% in the year, held back by lower margins realised in Chausport and its distribution business.

On its outlook for the year, the retailer remained cautious, saying it recognises the “increasing challenges of strong comparatives and the current economic and fiscal threats to consumers’ expenditure”.

JD Sports executive chairman Peter Cowgill said: “Such sustained performance, in the face of less than favourable economic conditions and exchange rates, reflects the strength and uniqueness of our brand and fascia offers as well as the strength of our management teams.

 “The Board remains focused on continuing to deliver operational and financial progress for the Group over the long term. Opportunities for profit growth overseas, the rollout of our principal Fashion Fascia, development of our differentiated and own brand proposition, and growth in our Distribution business all help to reduce threats to Group profitability and give us the opportunity to maintain the positive momentum in our business.”

The retailer made a “significant” investment in the store portfolio in the year, but  said it has become “much more difficult” to dispose of underperforming stores, due to the economic climate.

The retailer operates from 345 stores across its JD and Size? fascias, as well as 75 at its Chausport business.