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JD Sports profits surge and dividend raised

RETAILER JD Sports Fashion has reported a 26 per cent rise in annual profits and hiked its dividend.

Pre-tax profits before exceptional items surged to £67.4m in the year to 30 January – up from £53.6m last year.

Like-for-like sales were up two per cent in the ten weeks to April 10.

The company said it had stayed competitive despite the difficult economic environment and unfavourable exchange rates.

But it is also warned that consumer spending had still not fully recovered.

The firm said in a statement: "We recognise the increasing challenges of strong comparatives and the current economic and fiscal threats to consumers’ expenditure."

Shares in JD Sports have risen by over three quarters over the last year while the company has raised its dividend by 65 per cent.