JD Sports Fashion has bucked the high street gloom with pre-tax profits rocketing 71 per cent to £9.1 million in the 26 weeks to August 2.

Group like-for-likes in the period increased 6 per cent, with its sports fascias up 5.9 per cent and its fashion fascias rising 6.7 per cent.

Total group revenue increased 19 per cent to£299 million.

In current trading, total group like-for-like sales for the year so far, to September 13, rose 5.8 per cent, with its sports fascias up 5.4 per cent and fashion up 8.2 per cent.

Gross margin improved from 48 per cent to 48.2 per cent. The sports retailer said this reflects “continued efforts to improve bought in margin as well as increasing own-brand share in the Sports fascias”.

JD Sports Fashion executive chairman Peter Cowgill said: “We are delighted with the performance of the group during the period. Trading has been very positive, with improved like-for-like sales and gross margin generating a significant increase in profit before tax and exceptional items. We continue to invest in our store portfolio, systems and training to provide a solid platform for future growth.

“The like-for-like sales performance in the balance of the year will be measured against very strong comparatives from last year and with the backdrop of challenging conditions for the consumer. Nevertheless, the board believes that the group is strongly positioned to deliver on market expectations.”