JD Sports shares settle after profit surprise

Harriet Green
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Source: Wikimedia

JD Sports has reported a profit before tax jump of 27 per cent to £77m, beating analysts' estimates of £74m.

The results tell something of a mixed story, though.

While its sportswear division is full-steam ahead, with profits up 20 per cent to £93.4m, in fashion it saw an operating loss before exceptions of £6.4m - from the £1.7m loss seen a year earlier.

Shares jumped over two per cent on the news this morning, but have now settled at 0.05 per cent above yesterday's close.

Blacks, the outdoor specialists, has at times proved something of a millstone for JD Sports, but the company says the turnaround of it and Millets is progressing well, with both delivering break-even results before exceptional items.

Revenue was up 5.7 per cent to £1.3bn.

Peter Cowgill, executive chairman, said:

I am delighted to report that our core Sports fascias (JD and Size?) delivered another year of substantial progress. It is particularly pleasing that they have produced a record result in our core markets in the UK and Ireland. These businesses continue to provide the foundation for profit and expansion in the Group. We have also seen very positive developments for our Sport fascias in Europe.

I am encouraged that the Blacks and Millets business achieved a significant improvement in the second half of the year and we expect continued progress in the new financial year.

JD Sports increased its final dividend by three per cent to 22.65p, meaning a total dividend of 27.10p, which is also up three per cent.