JD Sports raises profit guidance by £100m

JD Sports has reported a positive Christmas trading period, with online sales expected to help the group generate a pre-tax profit over £100 million ahead of full-year market expectations.

As well as JD, the company's brands include trainer specialist Size? and outdoor brands Millets and Blacks.

“Against a backdrop of further forced temporary store closures in many of our global territories, it is pleasing to report that demand has remained robust throughout the second half, including in the key months of November and December,” said JD.

Total like-for-like revenues for the twenty two week period to 2 January 2021 in the group's businesses were more than 5 per cent ahead of the prior year, as consumers “readily switched between physical and digital channels”, JD said.

As a result, group headline profit before tax for the full-year to 30 January 2021 will be “significantly ahead of current market expectations” - which average around £295 million. JD anticipates the full year pre-tax figure will be “at least £400 million”.

It added: “Looking ahead, it is clear that operational restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic will be a material factor through to at least the first quarter of the year to 29 January 2022.

“Whilst we are confident that we have the proposition to continue to attract consumers throughout this period, the process to scale down activity in stores and scale up the digital channels - often at extremely short notice - presents significant challenges.”

Predicting profitability for the year ahead, and taking account of the fact that stores will potentially be closed until this Easter, for the full year to 29 January 2022, the company is predicting a 5-10 per cent profit increase on the current year.

The actual results for the full current year will be posted on 13 April 2021.

Last week, Next reported that extra online business on the run up to xmas had almost made up for lost retail shop sales during the lockdown.

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