Sports Direct has faced such a media storm this year, the fact that the group is still running nearly 500 UK stores has almost become a sideshow.

But on Thursday we will get an indication of how the Mike Ashley-controlled retailer has traded in the wake of the EU referendum, as it unveils half-year results.

From a City perspective, it hasn’t been pretty this year.

A series of profit warnings has seen Sports Direct’s share price remain in the doldrums. 

In October, the retailer issued its third profit warning of the year after a flash crash in the value of sterling meant it lost £15m on the currency markets. It appeared that a bet designed to protect itself against sterling’s slump went wrong.

A week later, it was announced Sports Direct’s acting chief financial officer Matt Pearson was leaving to take up another role.

Sports Direct has also seen its long-serving chief executive Dave Forsey depart this year, making way for Ashley to take up the role. Many already regarded Ashley as the one who ran the show anyway.

Whether the maverick billionaire will front up to media this week will be interesting to see. 

Beyond questions around the alleged MP spying scandal and the retailer’s efforts to improve working conditions, any update on Ashley’s audacious aim to become the ‘Selfridges of Sport’ will also spike interest.

Ocado update

Elsewhere, online grocer Ocado will update the market on Thursday with fourth-quarter numbers, which comes off the back of a strong third quarter.

And on Tuesday, the latest BRC-KPMG figures will give a temperature check of industry performance.