Retail news round-up on December 12, 2013: Sports Direct profits soar in first half, SuperGroup makes ‘progress on all fronts’ as profits rise and Littlewoods faces legal wrangle in Ireland over jumper design infringement.

Sports Direct profits soar in first half

Sports Direct underlying pre-tax profit jumped 16.9% to £146.2m in its half to October 27.

Group revenue soared 23.5% to £1.35bn with UK sports retail sales up 13.4% to £903.3m. Its international sports store sales surged 30.8% to £118.5m while new acquisitions overseas contributed £87.7m.

Sales at Sports Direct’s premium lifestyle division, which includes Republic and USC, rocketed 83.2% to £102.8m.

SuperGroup profits rise in first half

SuperGroup said it was making “progress on all fronts” as underlying pre-tax profit advanced 21.8% to £17.9m in its first half to October 27 as like-for-likes grew 8.1%.

Retail revenue was up 19.3% and total sales soared 21.4% to £192.1m.

Gross margin increased 50 basis points over the period.

Zatori Results drags Littlewoods in High Court over design infringement

Irish firm Zatori Results has initiated High Court proceedings against online retailer Littlewoods Ireland, accusing the latter of infringing its design for a mens Christmas jumper featuring a snowman and Christmas trees, The Irish Times reported.

Zatori claims Littlewoods has breached its intellectual property rights by offering for sale a Christmas jumper with an almost identical design to one first offered for sale by Zatori in last year. The firm seeks an injunction preventing the defendant continuing to offer the jumper for sale. Damages are also being sought for alleged infringement of its unregistered design rights in regard to the Zatori jumper.

Asda keen to bring back US-inspired ‘Black Friday’ event in 2014

UK supermarket chain Asda is keen on repeating US-inspired ‘Black Friday’ in 2014, in spite of chaos in some outlets, The Guardian reported. During the event, the grocer’s weekly sales of electrical goods jumped five-fold. Asda is looking at whether to offer the discounts online as well in 2014.

Tesco plans to offer discounts on ‘misshapen’ fruit and vegetables

Tesco has said that it was looking at several measures to make ‘ugly’ product look more attractive to the customers, The Independent reported. The UK supermarket has criticised fussy consumers who reject ‘misshapen’ fruit and vegetables. It told MPs that it faced the ‘very difficult reality’ of shoppers only choosing the ‘best-looking’ fresh food, leaving the rest to go to waste. The company said it was considering ways to change people’s buying habits, such as putting on special offers just for ‘ugly-looking’ food or redirecting all misshapen produce to its food service arm.