Sports Direct profit up 25pc

Sports Direct HAS posted a 25 per cent rise in underlying year profit as it won market share from stricken rival JJB Sports.

The firm, controlled by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, said It made underlying earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of £200.4m in the year to 24 April, after taking a charge for a bonus share scheme.

This is in stark contrast to rival JJB, which has issued a string of profit warnings as it has battled to stay in business.

Sports Direct, which owns Sports World and Lillywhites stores as well as brands including Slazenger, Lonsdale and Dunlop, said revenues rose 10.2 per cent to £1.59bn, helped by like-for-like retail sales growth of 6.6 per cent.

"This has been an excellent year of growth for the group in what has been a challenging retail environment," Sports Direct's chief executive Dave Forsey said in a statement. "Our progress since the year end is in line with management expectations and we are confident of reaching our current year target of underlying EBITDA."