Sports Direct third-quarter retail sales rose 9.4% to £326m year on year and it has raised its full-year EBITDA target to at least £160m.


Numis analyst Andrew Wade said: “Although the retail sales line was better than expected, the quarter was more promotional than we had anticipated.” Gross margin was up by 100 basis points when he had expected it to be up 300 basis points.

“The strong sell-through has left the business in a very clean stock position - important in the run-in to the World Cup.”

The Competition Commission also said that it had provisionally cleared Sports Direct’s acquisition of 31 JJB Sports stores. However, Sports Direct remains under investigation by the Office of Fair Trading and the Serious Fraud Office.

Wade argued that if investors are prepared to see past these issues the retailer offers “exceptional value”, particularly ahead of the World Cup.