Sports Direct gross profits suffered a dip after sales remained flat.

The sports giant’s retail sales were up 0.8% to £368m for the 13 weeks to July 25, while retail gross profit dipped 6.6% to £156m.

Sales were against tough comparatives, as last year the World Cup was taking place over the same period. UK like-for-likes were down 40.2% in one week, which was pitted against a week at the peak of last year’s tournament.

Group sales also remained flat, up 0.5% to £410m, and gross profits dipped 5.7% to £174m over the period. Sales from its new premium lifestyle division, which it set up after the acquisition of USC and Cruise, are not included in the total. 

Revenue from its brands division dropped 2.3% to £42m with gross profit flat at £18m. 

Over the period the retailer opened nine stores, and closed four in the UK, and further expanded its international portfolio with new stores in France, Netherlands and Cyprus.

Sports Direct chief executive Dave Forsey: “The group’s underlying performance in the period has been in line with management expectations, while continuing to invest in margin, inventory and extra group marketing. 

“The board is confident of reaching the full year targeted underlying EBITDA of £215m.”