New storefits at JJB have helped increase like-for-like sales at refurbished shops.

At its AGM last week, the sports retailer said that like-for-likes in its stores fell 2 per cent for the 12 weeks to July 20. Group revenue, including its health clubs, was 1.2 per cent lower than last year on a like-for-like basis. However, JJB added: “The ongoing implementation of New Era and Retro fit-outs has produced strong increases in like-for-like sales.” The retailer expected its trading position to “strengthen as the programme rolls out”.

JJB posted strong growth at its health clubs, which delivered like-for-like growth of 5.9 per cent for the period.

Despite positive steps towards a turnaround, chairman Roger Lane-Smith warned that the second half of the year would be “very challenging”.

Panmure Gordon analyst Philip Dorgan said that JJB was making good progress and delivering a better and more differentiated offer.

However, the economic climate prompted him to downgrade his forecasts. “The recovery story is intact, but the economy is not,” he said.