JD Sports sales up 3.2% although Blacks trading disappointing
Sportswear retailer JD Sports said its like-for-like sales rose by 3.2% in the seven weeks to 5 January although the performance of its recently acquired Blacks and Milletts stores had been disappointing.
In a trading statement, the group said trading at the JD Sports fascias had been robust throughout the Christmas period, with margin for the year-to-date improving to close to the prior year's level.
The group's fashion fascias Banks and Scotts, which represent a relatively small share of group sales, saw like-for-like sales in the seven week period decline by 7.9%. JD said that Bank will now only break even in the year and that management was now “very focused” on improving the business’s performance.
JD said that the rationalisation of outdoor fascias Blacks and Millets, which were acquired out of administration 12 months ago, was now firmly underway. However, sales had been disappointing during the festive season. "This was the result of the proposition bought into by the previous management team. All the key players in that team have been replaced very recently," JD added.
After factoring in the significant level of losses at Blacks and Millets, JD said that the group's year end results were likely to be towards the lower end of current market expectations for headline profit before tax and exceptional items which is currently £60 million.
Peter Cowgill, executive chairman, commented: "Christmas 2012 has seen another very robust performance from our core Sports Fascias. Both international development in the Sports Fascias and multi-channel development throughout the Group represent significant continuing growth opportunities. In addition, whilst the performance of Outdoor has been disappointing, we remain confident that this business will produce future returns.
"As evidenced by results throughout recent years of considerable change, the core of our retail group remains very strong. Trading in recent weeks has been the strongest we have seen for some time."
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