JD Sports powers ahead as core retail business gathers pace
JD Sports Fashion had a very merry Christmas with the company saying on Wednesday that over the six weeks to 31 December, both in stores and online, its performance was “particularly impressive, with total revenue growth of more than 20%”.
Bearing in mind the announcement last month of the sale of a clutch of its premium fashion brands — such as Tessuti, Missy Empire and Pretty Green — to Frasers Group, the figures only include its “organic retail businesses”.
And the performance in these core businesses seems to have improved strongly throughout the year. As previously reported in September, the company saw growth of 5% in the first half and on Wednesday it added that H2 so far (the 22 weeks to the end of the year) saw its organic retail businesses’ revenue rising 10%.
The company said it’s “very encouraged by the performance of our global premium sports fascias. Notably, our businesses in North America have, as expected, recovered strongly delivering growth of more than 20% through the second half to date. This reflects both the improved availability of product in all of our banners and the positive momentum in the development of the JD fascia with 134 stores now trading as JD across the United States and Canada”.
Elsewhere, its businesses in the UK and Republic of Ireland, Europe and Asia Pacific have “maintained their first half momentum, both in stores and online, which is reassuring and demonstrates the ongoing resilience of our proposition and the enduring strength of our multi-channel consumer engagement”.
Its strength in H2 and over the Christmas period means it now expects headline group profit before tax and exceptional items for the year ended 28 January 2023 will be “towards the top end of current published market expectations which range from £933 million to £985 million”.
The firm can’t be more specific yet given that “the ultimate outturn will reflect trading through the remainder of January with the post-Christmas sale period still to take place in some of our most important European markets”.
JD Sports also seems confident for the future, despite the undeniable headwinds out there, saying headline profit before tax and exceptional items for the full year to 3 February 2024 will be just over £1 billion.
It stressed that “consumers worldwide are more attracted than ever to JD's differentiated proposition with its attention-grabbing theatre in stores, advanced digital technologies, breadth in the range of brands and availability of key styles”.
And it thinks “the most significant opportunities lie in the continued international multi-channel development of the group's sports fashion businesses and, consequently, the group will be accelerating its global investment in these businesses through 2023”.
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