JJB Sports looks forward to future after disastrous year

David Hellier
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JJB Sports yesterday revealed the full horror of the past year, posting a full-year loss of &pound;189.2m.<br /><br />Executive chairman David Jones, the man who formerly led the clothes retailer Next in markedly better times, admitted that under its previous management the group came dangerously close to insolvency.<br /><br />And even at the moment nervousness over the group&rsquo;s financial standing is affecting custom and suppliers&rsquo; willingness to deal with the group. Sales in the period until the middle of May are down 23 per cent on a like for like basis.<br /><br />Jones is nevertheless optimistic, saying that since becoming executive chairman in January &nbsp;he has restored the group&rsquo;s financial stability and put it on a growth path.<br /><br />Jones is busy refocusing JJB as a mid market sports retailer, having sold off its health clubs business and a number of its poorly performing stores.<br /><br />But he still has much to do to restore the group&rsquo;s financial footing and analysts at Investec, for example, expect a rights issue to secure the company&rsquo;s longer-term future.<br /><br />Analysts at Citi think the company&rsquo;s future is still uncertain.