JD Sports Fashion has reported a more than 25% jump in full-year headline pretax profit as demand for athletic and leisurewear clothing remained firm in an otherwise gloomy United Kingdom clothing sector.
The Sports Fashion segment demonstrated "very strong" performance as operating profit before exceptional items increased 22% to GBP300.0 million from GBP245.0 million the year earlier.
In the overall Outdoor segment, which comprises outdoor clothing and equipment retailers Blacks and Millets, as well as Go Outdoors, operating profit before exceptional items was GBP8.8 million, up from GBP1.2 million the prior year.
The retailer of sports, fashion and outdoor brands today (17 April) said pre-tax profits for the 53 weeks to 3 February surged 24% to GBP294.5m (US$421.7m) from GBP238.4m a year ago.
It said like-for-like sales rose by 3% across all its stores and by 7% including online trading over the 53 weeks.
Chairman Peter Cowgill said the retailer is "developing a multichannel infrastructure which provides consumers in multiple territories with access to a universal stock pool and enables them to shop with us in the channel and at the time of their choice".
In addition, JD revealed last month it has inked an agreement to acquire United States athleticwear chain The Finish Line in a deal worth US$558m.
"Coming as it does at a moment when the big brands are thinking further about consolidating their retailer lists, such form is invaluable and we see the move to the United States as another logical step towards JD becoming a global brand".
"This is an excellent result demonstrating our capacity for continuing growth in both existing and new markets, and the strength of our offer in store and online", he added. "The board remains confident in the robustness and global potential of the JD proposition and is excited by the major developments ahead".
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 United Kingdom for weak sales.
"Much to the dismay of rival Sports Direct's chief executive Mike Ashley, JD Sports is now making firm tracks to become the UK's leading sportswear retailer", she adds.
Its presence overseas will increase once again this year thanks to its recent acquisition of United States athletic footwear and apparel retailer Finish Line Inc (NASDAQ:FINL) last month for US$558mln.
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