JD Sports sprints ahead on demand for athletic and leisure wear

Pretax profit jumps 25% despite gloomy British clothing sector

Britain's JD Sports Fashion on Tuesday reported a jump in full-year headline pretax profit of more than 25 per cent as demand for athletic and leisure wear clothing remained firm in an otherwise gloomy British clothing sector. Shares of the company surged as much as 7.9 per cent, and were the top gainers on the FTSE 250 index.

JD Sports, which alongside its core sports retail business runs fashion and outdoor retail outlets such as Scotts and Blacks, said profit before tax and exceptional items rose to £307.4 million (€355m) in the 53 weeks to February 3rd.

Core operating profit at its sports fashion business, which trades through brands such as Chausport, Sprinter and size?, rose 22 per cent to £300 million.

Revenue rose 33 per cent to £3.16 billion, and the company opened another nine stores in the Asia Pacific region in the year.


JD Sports has been a British retail sector success story in recent years, overtaking billionaire Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct as Britain’s leading sportswear retailer by market value.

The jump in JD Sports's profit and revenue is in contrast to other British clothing retailers such as Debenhams and Moss Bros, which have cited pressures in the broader retail sector in the UK for weak sales.

JD Sports also struck deals last year, including a $558 million purchase of Finish Line, to tap into the lucrative US sportswear market, and to expand into the South Korean market. – Reuters