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Sales and profits up for Sports Direct International plc

The sports retailer announces its Interim Management Statement for the period from 25 October 2010 to 16 February 2011.

CITY & CORPORATE

Sales and profits up for Sports Direct International plc

Group total sales for the 13 weeks ending 23 January 2011 were up 12.1% to £416m (2010:£371m) and gross profit increased 8.4% to £167m (2010: £154m).
 
Retail sales in the 13 week period increased 13.8% year on year to £371m (2010: £326m), and retail gross profit increased 9.6% to £149m (2010: £136m).  The Brands division revenue increased by 2.2% to £46m (2010: £45m), and the corresponding gross profit increased 5.9% to £18m (2010: £17m).
 
During this period, UK Retail has opened five core and three temporary stores and closed one core, two temporary and four non-core stores.  International Retail converted three stores in Portugal, following the recent acquisition, and opened one new store in Slovenia.
 
 
Dave Forsey, Chief Executive of Sports Direct International plc, said,"Since the end of January, the Group's underlying performance has continued to be strong, especially within the UK retail division.  Therefore we shall reach our full year targeted underlying EBITDA of £205m (before the charge for the bonus share scheme). During the remaining quarter and dependent on trading we will continually review further opportunities to invest in margin and or extra group marketing.
 
"At the interim results on 16 December 2010, we announced that for the half year ended 24 October 2010 we had a net debt to underlying EBITDA ratio of 1.2 times, and would be targeting a range between one and 1.5 times by April 2011.  Due to our strong performance, we are now targeting a range of between 0.5 and one times underlying EBITDA by the year end."
 
The Group's preliminary results will be announced on 14 July 2011.

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