JD Sports hits record with 81% jump in profits

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That’s quite a jump.

Sports retailer JD Sports, recently in the headlines for allegations of poor working conditions, has produced a bumper year to the end of January, with pre-tax profits up by 81 per cent to a record £244.8m. It had previously said that a strong Christmas had put it in a good position.

Revenues jumped by 31 per cent to £2.38bn, above City expectations of £2.22bn.

In part, this is down to that most fickle of things: fashion. As it noted:

We are fully aware that athletic inspired footwear and apparel has been on trend throughout Europe for a number of seasons. However, whilst this tailwind has clearly had a positive influence, the key to our success in recent years has been the way that we have leveraged these favourable market conditions with our strengthening profitability, a payback for the investments we have made over a number of years to develop the JD retail concept and strengthen our core commercial practices.

Still, the retailer remains concerned about the potential impact of Brexit:

Executive chairman Peter Cowgill said:

Whilst we must recognise that there are external influences which may impact the latter part of the year, notably inflationary pressures arising from Brexit, the Board remains confident in the robustness of the JD proposition and believes that the Group is well positioned for further profitable growth.

It added that it was “disappointed” to face allegations late last year over its treatment warehouse staff, noting that an independent investigation found the claims “did not represent a balanced characterisation of working practices”.

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