JD Sports posts a jump in profit as Blacks and Millets break even

 
Kasmira Jefford
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A STRONG performance from JD Sports’ sportswear arm helped profits sprint ahead of expectations last year, despite losses at the retailer’s struggling fashion business.

Adjusted pre-tax profit rose 27 per cent to £77m in the year to the beginning of February, beating analysts’ forecasts of around £71m.

Chairman Peter Cowgill said the turnaround of Blacks and Millets – bought out of administration two years ago – was also paying off after the chains broke even in the second half compared to a loss of £4.9m in the first half.

Sales grew 5.7 per cent to £1.3bn with like-for-like sales at its UK and Ireland stores up 6.7 per cent.

The retailer’s sports division, which accounts for almost 70 per cent of sales, posted operating profits up 20 per cent to £93.4m.

However its fashion arm, which includes brands such as Bank and Scotts, saw losses widen to £6.4m from £1.7m a year ago.

HOW JD SPORTS’ THREE DIVISIONS FARED LAST YEAR

1 £8.8m loss
JD Sports’ outdoor arm made a £8.8m loss but Blacks and Millets broke even in the second half

2 £93.4m profit
The firm’s core sports division, including brands JD and Size, made operating profits of £93.4m

3 £6.4m loss
The retailer’s fashion brands made a £6.4m loss, compared to a £1.7m loss the previous year