JD Sports Fashion has posted a 64% rise in profits and expects continued growth.

The retailer, which owns chains such as Bank as well as eponymous stores, made an interim pre-tax profit of £16.6m in the period to July 31, when sales rose 18.5% to £383.9m.

Like for likes rose 2.8% at the core UK business – there was a rise of 3.9% at the sports division and a fall of 3.8% at the fashion arm.

At the start of second half like-for-likes continued to rise – up 2.1% in sports and 7.1% in fashion in the four weeks to August 28, giving a group advance of 2.7%. The retailer did not give more up to date figures because of the distorting effect of the Eid festival on trading.

JD Sports Fashion executive chairman Peter Cowgill said: “We are up against tough comparatives over the balance of the year and the economic outlook remains uncertain, but the good foundation of these first half results and our strong cash position mean we are well positioned for further investment in our growth.”