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Good Christmas performance from JD Sports

The Group’s Christmas trading statement reveals like-for-like sales were up for the Christmas period

CITY & CORPORATE

Good Christmas performance from JD Sports

The Group’s Christmas trading statement reveals like-for-like sales were up for the Christmas period

Like for like Group sales (excluding Chausport) for the five week Christmas trading period ended 1st  January 2011 were up by 2.5% and the Group's cumulative like for like sales for the 48 week period to 1 January are up 3.1% (as compared to 2.8% for the 30 weeks to 28 August reported in the Interim Announcement on 21 September 2010). Retail gross profit margins have also been maintained from the previous year.
 
The Board now believes the Group will exceed current market expectations for Group profit before tax and exceptional items for the current financial year (see note below). The Board does however recognise that the next financial year will present significant challenges as a result of the impact of both the recent VAT increase, and inflationary pressures arising particularly but not only from increased raw material prices.
 
The Group will make its Preliminary Results announcement for the year ending 29 January 2011 on 13 April 2011.
 
Peter Cowgill, Executive Chairman, commented, "The Christmas trading performance from the Group's main retail fascias has again been pleasing and in excess of our expectations.
"I am particularly grateful to all our staff who by their endeavour and commitment ensured that we were largely unaffected over the full five week period by the difficult weather conditions experienced in December.  This performance is the result of our strong product and brand proposition presented in inviting retail settings. Nevertheless the trading environment facing all retailers, and perhaps clothing retailers in particular, will provide additional challenges in the year to come."
 Consensus analyst expectations for the Group's profit before tax and exceptional items are currently £75.4 million.

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