Retailer achieves limited earnings growth

Sports Direct has not issued a profit warning, as was widely expected, to coincide with today's much-anticipated AGM.

Sales for the 13 weeks to July 29 were£335 million, with group gross profits reaching£149 million.

Pre-exceptional EBITDA for the year showed limited growth and sales for August picked up after a wet summer slowed sales for the retail arm of the group.

However, lack of detail from Mike Ashley’s firm continued to irk the City. Some believe that, if like-for-like figures had been revealed, they would have been down by as much as 30 per cent.

Pali analyst Nick Bubb said that, in the current trading climate, there is a chance of another downgrade for the retailer at its Christmas interims. “Given its poor corporate governance, weak balance sheet and the reliance on punting in listed sports companies, Sports Direct should still be trading on a low rating,” he said.