JJB Sports has reported a like-for-like sales rise and improved gross margin in recent weeks.

Comparable-store sales climbed 22.3% in the six weeks to July 4, when the like-for-like gross margin improved to 43.9%.

The retailer, which issued the statement covering such a short period because it is hosting an analysts’ visit today to its refurbished Slough store, said performance in line with expectations, despite England’s early exit from the World Cup. JJB launched its summer Sale 10 days later than last year.

Cumulative like-for-likes since February 1 rose by 12.1% and cumulative gross margin was up 7.3 percentage points year-on-year to 43.8%.

JJB Sports said that sales at the Slough shop, a trial format which reopened in late May, had delivered sales 9% above the chain’s average.

Another four stores will be refitted before the autumn.