JJB in £68.5m annual loss

JJB Sports posted a pre-tax annual loss of £68.5m and warned investors not to expect a reversal of fortunes in the near future.

The struggling retailer, which narrowly avoided administration also saw sales slump 42 per cent to £372.5m as suppliers, fearful of the company's future, held back new stock, in the year to 31 January.

However JJB said trading had improved in its new financial year as stock for the World Cup and seasonal ranges was received.

It said sales at stores open over a year rose 7.5 per cent in the 16 weeks to May 23 and were up 19 percent in May so far.

Nevertheless John Clare, who was acting chairman and has now been given the post on a permanent basis, said: "JJB's recovery will be neither quick nor easy."

JJB avoided administration last year by selling its fitness clubs for £83M, pushing through a debt restructuring deal with creditors and raising £100m pounds of new capital.

Shares in JJB have lost 38 per cent of their value over the last six months.