JD Sports reaps ‘athleisure’ benefits in tough retail climate

Sportswear retailer posts better than expected full-year revenue and profit

 JD Sports said profit jumped 15.5 per cent to €411.6 million. Photograph:  Yui Mok/PA Wire

JD Sports said profit jumped 15.5 per cent to €411.6 million. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire


JD Sports Fashion reported better-than-expected full-year earnings on Tuesday, benefiting from acquisitions in a challenging retail environment at home.

The company has bulked up over the past year with the purchase of US-based Finish Line and smaller rival Footasylum, and has gained from the “athleisure” trend, which sees people sporting gym clothes at work, school and other social occasions.

Britain’s retail industry has been hurt by lower consumer spending given uncertainties from the nation’s impending exit from the European Union, higher costs as well as a shift to shopping online.

JD Sports, with more than 2,400 stores that sell brands including Nike, Puma and Adidas, has weathered the storm thanks to its international footprint. Rival Sports Direct has faced a series of failed takeover attempts including Debenhams and Findel.

Heavy discounts

JD Sports, the owner of Footpatrol and Cloggs, did not cut prices in the Christmas period despite the difficulties in Britain that had other retailers scrambling to attract shoppers through heavy discounts.

Britain’s biggest sportswear retailer, which was founded in 1981 with a single store in the northwest of England, said headline pretax profit jumped 15.5 per cent to £355.2 million (€411.6 million) for the 53 weeks ended February 3rd, while revenue surged 49.2 per cent to £4.72 billion (€5.45 billion).

As per company-supplied consensus, analysts had estimated a pretax profit of £349.2 million (€403.5 million) and revenue of £4.56 billion (€5.27 billion).

– Reuters