JD has edged up its full-year profit forecast off the back of “encouraging” trading during the crucial Christmas period.

The sportswear business said like-for-like sales across the group are up approximately 3% during the second half of its financial year to date, although it did not break out specific figures for the golden quarter.

JD said that as a result of its “continuing momentum”, it now expects full-year pre-tax profit for the year ending February 3 to reach £300m.

Market consensus previously suggested that profits would come in between £270m and £295m.

JD said performance during the second half of its financial year to date had been driven by “material growth” in online sales as well as its ambitious overseas expansion strategy.

The retailer added that growth in its core UK market had been achieved despite “challenging comparatives” borne out of “significant levels of sales increases” over the past three years.

JD executive chairman Peter Cowgill said: “I am delighted to report that we have maintained our positive performance from the first half of the year which continues to demonstrate the capability and strength of our highly differentiated multichannel proposition.”