JD Sports has continued to trade well despite strengthening competition and is confident of its prospects for the rest of its financial year.

The retailer said that sales were particularly encouraging in light of JJB Sports’ recent fundraising. JD Sports chief executive Barry Bown said: “It would be irresponsible not to be mindful of a retailer with the war chest they now have. They will perhaps be able to get more customers back to their stores.”

In the 11 weeks to November 28 JD Sports said that cumulative sales rates at both its sports and fashion fascias had marginally improved since its last update. In the 32 weeks to September 12 sales at its sports fascias were up 0.5% and sales at its fashion fascias up 2%. 

Investec analyst Katharine Wynne said the update sent a “reassuring message to the market”. She added: “The company did not provide a breakdown for the interim 11-week period as the later timing of Eid [which fell last week this year] would have provided a distorted picture of the underlying trading patterns, especially for the JD and Scotts fascias.”

JD Sports said recent acquisitions including French retailer Chausport were encouraging and Bown added that any future acquisitions would be “opportunistic” and it was not actively seeking businesses to buy.

It has also opened up its website to international customers for the first time, which it said was a “natural growth” area for the business.

Bown said: “It is the start of December so we, like other retailers, are on the nail biting ride up to Christmas.”