Sports Direct, the store group controlled by controversial tycoon Mike Ashley, managed to maintain sales and profits in its last quarter, despite torrid trading conditions.

The retailer revealed a gross profit of£150 million on sales of£336 million for the 13 weeks to July 27. Each figure was£1 million up on last year’s.

Sports Direct chief executive Dave Forsey, who in July described the last financial year as the hardest the retailer had ever faced, said the environment had not improved in the interim.

“Since the end of July, trading has remained in line with our expectations in tough market conditions,” he said.

Kaupthing analyst Matthew McEachran said: “Bearing in mind a back-to-basics approach, with management focusing on costs – including within retail, where underperforming stores are being closed – we suspect that the decline at EBIT level is modest so far this year.”

Sports Direct is now selling its branded goods in more than 100 stores in China run by local partner ITAT. Forsey said: “Although it is too early to assess the financial contribution this will make, we are pleased with progress so far and the opportunities within this market.”