JD Sports posted a surge in full-year profit spurred by strong sales as boss Peter Cowgill says the business will “continue to exceed consumer expectations”.
The sports fashion retailer posted a 15.5% boost in pre-tax profit before exceptional items to £355.2m in the 52 weeks to February 2, while EBITDA rose a record 26.8% to £488.4m.
The retailer’s revenue spiked 49.2% year on year to £4.7bn.
JD Sports posted 6% like-for-like sales growth across its global portfolio, which the retailer said it achieved “against a backdrop of widely reported retail challenges in the group’s core UK market”.
The retailer opened a net five stores across the UK and Republic of Ireland, taking its overall store estate to 390.
Overall, the sports fashion retailer operated 2,167 stores at period end, up from 1,237 at the end of the previous financial year and driven by the acquisition of US chain Finish Line.
The retailer, which kicked off a trial of the JD Sports fascia in the US following its acquisition of Finish Line, said the initiative was “delivering encouraging early results”.
The retailer’s margin slipped 1.2% year on year to 48%, which it attributed to its acquisition of Finish Line.
Executive chairman Peter Cowgill said: “We firmly believe that the elevated and dynamic multibrand multichannel proposition of the core JD fascia, which enjoys the ongoing support of the key international brands, has the necessary agility to continue to exceed consumer expectations and prosper in an increasing number of international markets.
“We believe that our acquisition of the Finish Line business in the United States, the largest market for sport lifestyle footwear and apparel and the home to many of the global sportswear brands, will have positive consequences for our long-term brand engagement while significantly extending the group’s global reach.
“We maintain our belief that Finish Line is capable of delivering improved levels of profitability.
“Given the significance of Easter trading to the overall result of the group and the change in the timing relative to last year, any announcement of like-for-like sales performance in the year to date would lack precision. However, we are pleased with the continued underlying positive performance of the group and are excited by the major developments ahead.”