JD Sports profits more than double but growth forecast to slow

JD Sports has published record figures for its latest financial year.

The sportswear retailer saw pre-tax double from £421.3 million in 2020 to £947.2 million for the 52 weeks ended 29 January 2022.

Revenue was up from around £6.2 billion in 2020 to £8.6 billion last year.

Despite the strong results, the company warned that the current cost-of-living crisis would impact this year’s profits.

The board said that headline profit before tax for this year will be in line with its latest record performance.

"Whilst we are encouraged by the resilient nature of the consumer demand in the current year to date, we remain conscious of the headwinds that prevail at this time including the general global macro-economic and geopolitical situation,” said Helen Ashton, interim chair at JD Sports.

The results are published after the company was fined £4.3 million for breaching rules linked to a blocked merger with Footasylum.

The breaches include the sharing of commercially sensitive information between the two businesses' chief executives.

Both of the company's bosses claimed they couldn’t remember what had been said during meetings.

Following the penalty, which was dished out by the UK’s competition watchdog, the JD Sports' chief executive Peter Cowgill stepped down after 18 years at the business.

JD Sports said that the process to recruit a new chief executive is ongoing.

"Balancing the operational requirements of running and growing a business through a global pandemic with the obligations of elevating governance standards has been complex and not without challenge,” added Ashton. “A number of regulatory issues have arisen through this time which, following a series of independent investigations alongside the completion of the Group's Governance review, have highlighted the need for both greater relevant experience on the Board and more formalisation in governance systems, risk management recording, the documentation and appraisal of internal controls and the mechanisms for reporting relevant matters to the regulatory authorities where appropriate.”

The company faced more scandal with this month, after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced it will investigate JD Sports and several other parties on suspected price fixing for Rangers FC football jerseys.

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