JD Sports posted strong growth over the Christmas period as it held its nerve and only went on Sale on Boxing Day.

Group like-for-like sales for the five weeks to January 3 were up 2.8 per cent. Like-for-likes climbed 12.5 per cent at its fashion fascias and 1 per cent at its sports fascias.

JD Sports’ like-for-like sales for the 48 weeks to January 3 increased 3.8 per cent, with fashion fascias up 8 per cent and sports fascias up 3.1 per cent. The retailer said gross profit margins have improved a little over the full period compared with the previous year.

The board now expects that current market expectations for profit before tax and exceptional items will be marginally exceeded.