JJB Sports has reported an adjusted pre-tax loss of £9.7 million for the 26 weeks to July 27, as it faces “the worst retail recession” it has ever known.

The sports fashion retailer reported the interim loss against a profit of£8.3 million for the same period last year. Sales fell 5.6 per cent to£344.7 million.

JJB chairman Roger Lane-Smith said: “My non-executive board colleague David Jones – formerly chairman and chief executive of Next – has described the current climate as ‘the worst retail recession I have ever known’. I can only say that David’s statement is borne out by our trading results as reported today.”

In the first quarter, JJB bought footwear businesses Qube and Original Shoe Company, which reported losses of£700,000 and£5.9 million respectively.

During the period, the retailer closed 96 stores and slashed 800 jobs. However, it is confident that trading at Qube and Original Shoe Company will improve and has introduced additional own brands to improve gross margin.

JJB chief executive Chris Ronnie said: “In common with most retailers, JJB’s results can be affected by a number of economic conditions including interest rates, the availability of consumer credit, the level of inflation and movements in consumers’ disposable income. In order to mitigate these economic risks JJB needs to remain competitive through the offer of a wide range of products at reasonable prices through a strong property portfolio.”

Revenue for the 34 weeks to September 21 was 8.5 per cent lower than for the same period last year and included a like-for-like decrease in revenue of 4.5 per cent. Retail revenue decreased 5.6 per cent like-for-like and leisure revenue increased 6.4 per cent like-for-like.

JJB also said it reviews its bank funding requirements on an ongoing basis. In addition to its£60 million loan facility with Barclays Bank and£15 million loan facility with HBOS, the board said it has recently negotiated a£20 million three-month bridging facility with Kaupthing Bank.