// JD Sports reports record first-half profit on strong demand for runners and sportswear
// Pre-tax profit rose to £364.6m for the six months to July 31, from £41.5m a year ago
JD Sports posted record first-half results, boosted by pent-up demand for sneakers and sportswear after UK stores reopened after the lockdown.
But the retailer said it was withholding its interim dividend and instead hinted at a “larger annual dividend”.
The company warned that footfall remained low in many countries and that supply chain challenges were preventing its businesses from meeting strong demand in certain categories, including bicycles and cycling-related accessories.
It expects overall pre-tax profit for the full year ending January 29 to be at least £750m.
It had reported a pre-tax profit of €348.5m last year and £339.9m in the 2019 financial year.
The retailer said profit before tax and exceptional items rose to £439.5 million for the six months to July 31, from £61.9 million in 2020 and £158.6 million the last year.
JD Sports Chairman Peter Cowgill said: “The group continues to show exceptional resilience in the face of many challenges resulting from the continued prevalence of the Covid-19 pandemic in many countries, widespread pressure on international logistics and other supply chain challenges, significantly lower levels of store footfall in many countries after reopening and the continued administrative and financial consequences resulting from the loss of duty-free trade and without friction with the European Union.
Trading in the first weeks of the second half was generally encouraging, although retail footfall was relatively low in many countries, JD said.