Sports retailer feels the pinch of consumer slowdown as leisure arm goes from strength to strength
JJB Sports' turnover increased over the year but profits took a hammering as the retailer strives to re-invent itself as a leisure club player.

Turnover for the 53 weeks to January 30 increased 0.2 per cent from£771.8 million to£773.3 million. However, profit before tax fell from£67.8 million to£50.3 million. Turnover at core JJB stores fell just less than£17 million over the year, while the retailer's leisure division increased turnover from£44 million to£62.6 million during the period.

JJB said it strived to reduce excess clothing ranges over the year, cutting stock levels by 12 per cent. The retailer was confident that its clothing offer would perform better this year because it increased control of its ranges.

JJB chairman David Whelan said: 'Trading conditions are as difficult as any I have known for some years. It is quite clear that consumers have tightened their belts and that this is fuelling competition. I believe trading conditions will remain difficult throughout the current accounting period. Despite the reduced level of profit during the accounting period just ended, we continue to benefit from a very strong cash flow that supports the platform for expansion of our leisure division and also our standalone superstores.'