JD Sports share price soars as retailer scores £100m profit for the first time

Joe Hall
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JD Sports scored record profit. (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

The figures

JD Sports' share price soared by over five per cent after the retail group netted a slam dunk in 2014, with profits before tax and exceptional items smashing the £100m mark for the first time.

The retailer which includes high street fixtures such as JD, Size?, Millets and Blacks in its roster, scored a 23 per cent rise in operating profit before tax of £102m alongside a 25 per cent rise in revenue to £1.4bn in the 52 weeks ended 31 January 2015.

JD also revealed it made a pre-tax loss of £6.3m on its disposal of the struggling fast fashion chain Bank last November. Huk 57, a subsidiary of Hilco Capital bought the chain for £1 for its entire share capital yet JD also received a further £18.15m towards the intercompany retrievable balance of £28.25m.

The brand continued to expand into Europe last year, opening 19 new stores of JD and Size? to take its total to 70. In total, it set up 48 new stores in the period to take its total to 660.

Why it's interesting

Trainers are cool, walking boots less so. That's basically the message from JD Sports' record results once you dig deeper into what drove its £100m profit.

While the group's sports fashion chains netted revenue in the billions and profit of around £107m, its outdoor sector which includes the Blacks and Millets chains taken out of receivership by JD in 2012, recorded an operating loss of £4.9m and revenue of £11.7m. A "particularly mild and dry season" meant budding adventurers didn't need to get new equipment, JD explained, but it insisted it was "confident about its longer term prospects".

What JD said

This result has been driven by an outstanding performance in our Sports Fashion fascias where JD's unique and often exclusive sports and fasion premium brand offer continues to enthuse and excite both customers and suppliers...

...The turnaround of our outdoor fascias continues although the encouraging results in the first half were somewhat tempered in the second half as the milder and drier weather led to a general oversupply relative to demand for winter related product in the market throughout the season with consequent high levels of discounting.

- Peter Cowgill, executive chairman.

In short

JD Sports is in very good shape and more than a capable competitor to market leader Sports Direct.

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