JD Sports has warned that Christmas trading is crucial if it is to achieve its forecasts to exceed market expectations this year.
The retailer, which also announced it will invest in design and licence business Focus Group, reported group like-for-like sales for the 44-week period to December 1 up 11.8 per cent.
Like-for-likes jumped 12.4 per cent at the sports fascias and 2 per cent at the fashion fascias.
However, in an interim statement, the retailer said: “The past seven weeks of this 10-week period have seen a much slower rate of positive performance”.
Numis analyst Ramona Tipnis said the update represented a “significant outperformance”, given it included the difficult trading months of October and November.
JD Sports’ robust performance contrasted with rival JJB Sports’ more sombre update last week.
Total revenue for the 17 weeks to November 25 at JJB was up 1.6 per cent year on year.
Sales at the retail division rose 0.5 per cent and like-for-likes edged up 1.4 per cent.
The retailer said it remained “cautious” about the outlook for Christmas and 2008.