SPORTS DIRECT said yesterday that it had held “encouraging talks” with Adidas, after the iconic German sportswear brand refused to provide it with key kit for the teams it sponsored at the World Cup.
Adidas withdrew replica shirts for countries including winners Germany – and Premier League teams such as Chelsea – because it was unhappy with the way its goods were presented in the retailer’s stores.
But Sports Direct chief executive Dave Forsey said talks had been productive and that it was hopeful of soon stocking the next season’s kit, including Chelsea’s.
“They are beginning to understand at the top level within their business the efforts we’re making in terms of the stores,” referring to efforts made to revamp its stores.
“There’s been high-up talks within the groups and we’re encouraged by that and they’re encouraged by what they see,” he said.
His comments came as the company reported a record 15 per cent jump in pre-tax profits to £239.5m for the year to 17 April.
Total group sales rose 23.8 per cent on last year to £2.7bn, while like-for-like sales were 10.5 per cent ahead.
Forsey said trading since the year-end had been “in line with management’s expectations” despite England’s early exit from the tournament in Brazil, which is estimated to have cost Sports Direct between £10m and £20m of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.