Sports Direct posts strong profit rise despite World Cup woes
Sporting goods retailer Sports Direct has seen its full-year pre-tax profit rise by 30.9% to £313.4 million despite the England football teams early departure from the World Cup.
Group revenue rose by 4.7% to £2.8 billion in the year to 26 April as underlying EBITDA increased by 15.7% to £383.2 million.
Underlying profit before tax climbed by 20.5% to £300.3 million.
Sports Direct said the revenue growth was mainly down to its sports retail division, where revenues increased by 5.5% in the year. Premium Lifestyle revenue fell by 3%, largely due to the closure of loss-making stores.
Dave Forsey, Sports Direct chief executive, said: "The group has delivered another solid set of results in spite of challenging trading conditions including the adverse impact on performance during the period of England's early departure from the FIFA World Cup in Brazil and unseasonably mild weather during autumn, reducing footfall.
"However, with our ongoing focus on providing customers with exceptional quality and unbeatable value, we have continued to grow group revenues and EBITDA and have succeeded in surpassing our fourth and final EBITDA target under the 2011 Share Scheme. The first of these awards will vest with participants in September 2015 and the second in September 2017.”
Sports Direct said the sports retail division had continued to invest in product range and availability, optimise both its in-store and web offerings, and invest in its store portfolio in the year. Its mobile site continued to drive trade and mobile traffic now accounts for over 50% of all online visits.
Looking ahead, Forsey said: "Trading since the period end has been in line with management expectations and will continue to be driven by improvements in product range and availability, optimisation of both our in-store and web offerings, the introduction of Click and Collect in the UK and further investment in our store portfolio."
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