Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley has sold £100m worth of shares in the retailer cutting his stake down to 64.4%.

Ashley, who is executive deputy chairman at the retailer, sold 25 million shares, 4% of his overall holding, at 400p per share.

Independent retail analyst Nick Bubb said opinion was divided in the City as to whether Ashley’s share sale would improve liquidity or spell another collapse of the retailer’s share price.

However, the news sent its share price down 5% on Tuesday.

Ashley retains 385.4 million shares in the retailer and has agreed not to sell or dispose of any further shares within the next 365 days. Goldman Sachs managed the sale on behalf of Ashley.

Sports Direct revealed it is certain of hitting its full year £270m EBITDA target as group sales soared 21.1% to £589.5m in its last quarter.

Gross profit jumped 22.7% to £244.8m over the 13 weeks to January 27 drive by  Its core sports retail business drove the performance, with sales increasing 21.2% to £495.8m while gross profit in the division rocketed 23.5% to £203.7m.

Revenue from its premium lifestyle division, which includes USC and Cruise, which it acquired in 2011, increased 42.4% to £46.7m, with gross profit leaping 35.1% to £20.4m.