Sports giant Sports Direct is to extend its bonus share scheme after partially attributing a sales and earnings rise to its success.

In a pre-close update, Sports Direct posted a 7.3% increase in gross profits to £88m in the nine weeks to March 27, when group sales rose 10.3% to £236m.

Sports Direct’s retail division generated gross profit up 8.8% to £74m on turnover ahead 12.4% to £200m.

Chief executive Dave Forsey said: “We are pleased with the progress made and these results continue to highlight the strength of our retail division and the drive from our investment in margin and advertising.

“The board also believes that the bonus share scheme that covered full-year 10 and full-year 11 has been a significant contributor to our success. It is our intention to extend the scheme for full-years 12, 13 and beyond incorporating more aggressive targets.”

Details of the new scheme will be revealed when the retailer issues its preliminary results in July. Sports Direct expects underlying EBITDA to be at least £205m, excluding the cost of the bonus share scheme.