JD Sports surfs athleisure trend to take record pre-tax profit

JD Sports

Pre-tax profits soared 66 per cent to £77.4m in the first half of the year, as demand for fashionable sportswear remained strong and the retailer continued to opened shops across Europe, reports The Telegraph.

It made a number of acquisitions in the period, including in the Netherlands and Portugal.

The group, which also includes the Millets and Blacks outdoor clothing shops as well as the Size? chain, recorded total revenue of £970.6m in the six months to the end of July, up 20 per cent from the £809m revenue racked up in the first half of 2015.

“I am delighted to report that this has been another period of excellent progress for the group,” said Peter Cowgill, executive chairman.

“The favourable trends for athletic-inspired footwear and apparel in Europe have continued into this year. We are very much at the centre of this market with our success being a positive consequence of the investments we have made over a number of years to develop the JD retail concept.”

While a stronger euro against the pound helped to boost JD Sports’ margins, Mr Cowgill warned that “the weakening of sterling against the US dollar after the Brexit vote may cause some headwinds on margin in 2017, but we are reasonably well placed to mitigate there”.

He added that while the UK’s vote to leave the European Union meant there would be some uncertainties over the next two or three years, “we have no doubt that we have the support of our brand partners to continue our expansion in Europe and beyond”.