Year of British sport contributes to record results for Sports Direct

Sports Direct International has reported a 21 per cent increase in annual revenues and a 40 per cent boost in underlying pre-tax profits for the 52 weeks to 28 April 2013,

Group revenue in the period was £2.19bn, up from £1.84bn the year before, driven largely by a 17.3 per cent boost in its UK sports retail division (its largest unit). Underlying earnings per share was 26.85p, up from 19.19p. Underlying pre-tax profits were £208.1m, up from £152.6m the year before.

Notably, there was a 52.1 per cent growth in online revenue, which now represents 15 per cent of total sports retail sales, up from 11.6 per cent in the 2012 financial year.

The group also enjoyed accelerated international expansion in Europe, including post year-end acquisitions in Austria and the Baltic region.

Chief executive Dave Forsey said:

2012/13 was a record-breaking year for the Group and for British sport. We are pleased that both have continued to be successful this year and that our strategy of being the Consumers' Champion continues to reap rewards….

There is no doubt that the Group's record-breaking results were in the large part down to our colleagues and their hard work. The Employee Bonus Share Schemes have continued to drive this performance and we are pleased that eligible employees will be rewarded in August as the second and final part of the 2009 Employee Bonus Share Scheme vests.

Trading since the period end has remained strong and is ahead of management's expectations for the first quarter. Whilst 2013 is a non-tournament year, there is no doubt that our compelling offer of exceptional quality and unbeatable value continues to resonate well with our customers.

Ian Mitchell, business unit director at Kantar Worldpanel, said:

Sports Direct has managed to perform well in a relatively stagnant market, welcoming more than half a million additional shoppers through its doors in the past six months. It has been boosted by shoppers switching their spend from other retailers, especially value outlets and supermarkets, a trend which was worth £15 million to the retailer in the past six months. It also continues to benefit from the demise of rival JJB.

The real strength of Sports Direct lies in its broad appeal to consumers of all ages. It has grown sales from under 25 year-olds by 23 per cent – an impressive performance as, in the overall market, this age group has consistently cut its clothing and footwear spend over the past few months. The retailer is also extremely popular among the over 45s, a group which is still increasing the amount it spends on fashion, with these older shoppers attracted by value for money clothes.