Sports Direct says it's one step closer to being the "Selfridges of sport"


Sports Direct has set its sights on becoming the Selfridges of sport (Source: Getty)

Sports Direct said it is still moving towards becoming the "Selfridges of sport", ahead of its annual general meeting later today.

The company is facing a shareholder revolt at the meeting over its share buyback plan, and chairman Keith Hellawell is also facing investor ire: the former police officer has said he will walk if he does not receive the support of the independent shareholders.

Today, the discount retailer said the outlook remains "optimistic" and trading is in line with the group's previously stated aim of growing earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation by five to 15 per cent during the 2018 financial year.

Sports Direct also said it had continued to grow its store portfolio in the UK "typically through relocating smaller format stores to new-generation stores in order to elevate our retail space and improve the experience for both our customers and our third-party brand partners".

Shares in the group dipped 1.15 per cent at the open.

"We remain fully focused on our strategic goal of moving our core business towards the 'Selfridges' of sport in order to further strengthen our proposition and drive long-term profitability," said chief executive Mike Ashley.

"We will continue to build on the positive progress that we have made over the last 12 months, which we outlined during a very constructive meeting with stakeholders in July. Further details of this progress are contained in our annual report 2017. I would once again like to thank the people at Sports Direct for their magnificent efforts."

Read more: Sports Direct's shareholders gear up for revolt over share buyback plans