JD Sports sees profits dented by Blacks deal

Kasmira Jefford
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JD SPORTS Fashion yesterday said full-year pre-tax profits were ahead of expectations despite suffering a loss of £2.2m from its newly acquired Blacks business.

The retailer -- which sells sporting goods from top brands like Nike and Adidas -- said pre-tax profits fell 14 per cent to £67.4m from £78.6m a year earlier, largely as a result of investment into recent purchases including Blacks.

JD said the ailing outdoor goods chain “was in a very fractured state” following its £20m acquisition last year with “a severe lack of stocks” in many core high performing lines.

Chief executive Peter Cowgill said the group was still determining the size of the 215-strong estate, despite already shutting 81 loss making Blacks stores.

“Determining the size of the long term store base will depend on store performance when set against newly negotiated rents and associated property costs,” he said.

Despite a fall in profits, revenue surged 20 per cent to £1.06bn. The company also said it would pay a final dividend of 21.2 pence, up 10 per cent from last year.

Cowgill said the group expected some uplift from the Olympics but remained cautious as consumer budgets remained squeezed.