Sports Direct EBITDA up 15.5% in first half
Sports Direct has reported a 15.5% increase in its first half underlying EBITDA to £180.3 million.
The retailer said the uplift was partly due to the resilience of its core UK sports retail business although it warned of challenging trading conditions ahead.
Group revenue climbed by 4.5% to nearly £1.8 billion but underlying pre-tax profit declined by 26.8% to £64.4 million in the 26 weeks to 28 October. Reported pre-tax profit was up 62.4% to £74.4 million.
During the period the company acquired the House of Fraser department store chain out of administration.
Speaking of the acquisition, Mike Ashley, chief executive of Sports Direct, said: “I have made my views clear that I believe the previous House of Fraser senior management team traded the business whilst it was insolvent for a long time, this means we have significant challenges ahead in turning House of Fraser around.
“However, I genuinely believe we have acquired a fantastic opportunity and with the efforts of Sports Direct and House of Fraser teams, and the support of the brands, local councils and landlords, we can turn House of Fraser into the Harrods of the high street.”
Excluding House of Fraser, the company anticipates that it will be within its previously communicated underlying EBITDA growth range of 5% to 15% by the year end. When House of Fraser is included, it expects to be “behind last year’s result”.
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