Sports Direct has raised its annual earnings forecast after enjoying a jump in sales during the summer.

The group, which owns Sports World and Lillywhites, said group sales in the 13 weeks to July 26 rose 10% to £375m while gross profit climbed to £157m from £150m a year earlier.

Chief executive Dave Forsey will say at the company’s AGM that the firm now expects to achieve underlying EBITDA of at least £150m this financial year, up from a forecast of at least £140m in July.

He said: “The board is pleased with the progress made in the year to date.

“Since the end of July, trading has continued to be ahead of last year and we are very comfortable with our expectation of reducing net debt to below £400m.”

Sports Direct, controlled by owner Mike Ashley, opened five new stores during the period including three Field & Trek outlets, and closed two stores, one of which was a relocation.

The firm is facing an investigation by the Competition Commission over its acquisition of stores from rival JJB Sports. It said it is co-operating fully with the inquiry.