Sports Direct sees leap in full-year profits
High street sportswear retailer Sports Direct said record revenues and growth across all of its divisions helped to lift its full-year pre-tax profits by 24.5%.
In the year ending 29 April 2012, revenues grew to £1,807 million from £1,599 million in the previous year. The retailer said this was mainly due to the performance of its retail division where revenues grew by 14%, while UK sports retail sales increased by 7.8% to £1,342 million.
Pre-tax profit for the year increased to £148 million while online revenues jumped 81.8% and now account for 11.6% of sports retail sales. Underlying EBITDA rose from £211 million to £235.7 million.
International Retail sales were up 16.6% to £154.2m (2011: £132.3m). On a currency neutral basis, the increase was 15.5%.
The company said that it believes the Employee Bonus Share Scheme has been a great motivator across the Group. In August this year, around 2,000 staff will receive their share awards as the first part of the 2009 scheme.
During the year, the group broadened its consumer offering with the creation of its Premium Lifestyle division which included its acquisitions of the USC, Cruise, Van Mildert and Flannels retail fascias. The division contributed £74 million in revenue during the year.
Dave Forsey, chief executive, said: "I am pleased to be able to report another year of strong profit growth for Sports Direct, in a consumer environment that remains very tough. Trading since the period end has remained in line with management's expectations where increased investment in margin has been funded by stronger retail sales.
"In spite of the low expectations surrounding England's participation in Euro 2012 and the unseasonal weather our core divisions are performing well. Excitement is building towards the Olympics and we continue to target our 2013 "super stretch" underlying EBITDA objective of £270 million (before the charge for the bonus share schemes).
"We have established a strong online presence, delivering rapid growth in the Year. Critically, our online sales benefit from our UK market leading position on the high street and from our established systems and processes, while our retail stores continue to perform strongly."
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