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JJB Sports warns recovery will not be quick or easy

JJB Sports has posted an £68.6m annual loss as new chief executive Keith Jones admits that turning around the sportswear retailer will not be “quick or easy”.

CITY & CORPORATE

JJB Sports warns recovery will not be quick or easy

The sportswear retailer said underlying pre-tax losses more than trebled to £68.5 million in the 12 months to January 31, a year in which JJB avoided administration by agreeing a rescue deal with its landlords.

Sales slumped 42% to £372.5 million as suppliers, nervous of the company's future, held back new stock.Total revenues fell to £372m from £647.8m with gross margins falling to 38.1% from 45.8%. Ongoing retail revenues fell 22.6% to £361.1m with gross margins down 8.9 per cent at 38.4%.

Chief executive Keith Jones said: "The year under review was the most difficult in the history of JJB Sports, when the business faced a fight for survival. The fact that it did survive is in large part down to the hard work and dedication of JJB's management and staff."

On current trading JJB pointed to signs of recovery, with comparable sales in the 16 weeks of the new financial year up 7.5% and revenues growing by 19% in May.

The football World Cup, which begins in South Africa on June 11, offers a “significant opportunity” to boost business with replica kit sales, the group said .

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