Sports profit

JD Sports profit set to equal last year’s record £654m

JD Sports set to match last year’s record £654m profit as demand for sportswear remains strong

  • Sales in the first five months of 2022 were 5% ahead of the same period last year
  • Pre-tax profit of £654.7m for the year, up from £324m a year ago

JD Sports expects full-year profits to be in line with last year’s record performance as demand for sports and leisure apparel remains strong.

The company, which offers Nike, Adidas, Puma as well as private labels, said total sales for the five months of the year in its comparable businesses remained 5% higher than the same period last year.

JD Sports’ pre-tax profit was £654.7m for the year ending January 29, up from £324m a year ago.

JD Sports said it expects its full-year profit to be in line with last year’s record performance as demand for activewear and sportswear continues in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. 19

Despite the positive news, JD Sports Stocks were down 1.3% early on Friday after the release of a GfK survey showing consumer confidence in the UK remains “seriously depressed”.

The market research firm said British consumer confidence remained stuck at a record high this month amid soaring inflation and rising interest rates.

Its consumer sentiment index held steady at -41 in July, matching June’s lowest levels in 48 years and lower than those before recessions.

In a bid to stay in line with earnings forecasts, JD Sports said it has begun a review of its target control, risk and compliance operating model.

Last month it presented plans to overhaul its corporate governance structure and internal controls after a review led to the ousting of longtime boss Peter Cowgill in May.

JD Sports, which will hold its annual general meeting later, said current-year earnings would reflect a more normalized business pattern with about 35% to 40% of profits generated in the first half.

The Bury-headquartered retailer, which appointed former chairman of Morrisons supermarket group Andrew Higginson as chairman earlier this month, said it was in the process of recruiting a new CEO.

The London-listed sportswear retailer has been the subject of several investigations by the Competition and Markets Authority.

More recently, the CMA provisionally found that the company, along with a rival, had breached competition law regarding the prices of Rangers Football Club goods.

In February, JD Sports was fined £4.3m by the CMA for exchanging information with Footasylum, which it had agreed to buy for £90m.

Following the retailer’s latest trading update, the board increased the group’s total dividend to 0.35 per share from 0.29 per share.

Rival Frasers, owner of Sports Direct, said on Thursday it expected higher profits next year after a “record” 2022 driven by store reopenings and strong demand for its sportswear.