Sports fashion retailer Sports Direct has revealed that its sales performance has improved at the expense of margins.

The retailer, owned by controversial tycoon Mike Ashley, said that it remained confident of achieving underlying EBITDA of £135m, as previously outlined in its interim management statement on February 18.

In a pre-close trading update today the retailer said: “Since February 18, trading within the group’s largest division UK Retail, despite challenging economic conditions, has continued along the trend of higher than expected sales but lower than expected margin. As such, the board remains confident of achieving underlying EBITDA of £135m.”

The retailer’s financial year ends on April 26.