BERLIN: Shares in JD Sports Fashion hit an all-time peak after the company said profits would beat forecasts after an unexpected sales surge.
Despite taking a hit from the weakness of the euro, JD said it expect ed profits for the year to beat expectations by 10%. This would take them to around £121m, an increase of more than 20% on the previous year.
Shares in the group jumped 8% to a new peak of 810p, valuing it at £1.57bn.
JD, which operates 850 stores across a number of brands, selling sports clothes and trainers as leisurewear, reported a profit before tax of £100m for 2014. Sales at the retailer defied a gloomy Christmas last year when business boomed while other high street stalwarts suffered.
We are pleased to report that the performance in our business has continued to be strong with like for like sales remaining in excess of management forecasts although, as previously reported, we have suffered some loss of margin from the weakness in the euro in JD’s euro denominated business,” the statement said.
Subject to the continuation of a positive performance, we now anticipate that the headline profit before tax for the current year will be approximately 10% ahead of the current consensus market expectations of around £110m.”
The company, which includes high street brands JD, Size? and Millets in its portfolio, will announce half-year results on 16 September.
The majority of its stores are in the UK but it has expanded overseas into the Netherlands, Spain, France and Germany. In June, the company said it had made a strong start in the first 19 weeks of its new financial year but did not give like-for-like sales figures.
Finance director Brian Small said training and sports clothing is on trend at the moment. “I think there is a continuing fitness boom and people are more fashion conscious of the stuff they wear for their fitness activites and therefore there is a lot of colour in the products at the momnet.
There is a lot of innovation – trainers get a lot lighter and more comfortable [with] better cushioning and on top of that there is a continuing trend towards casual,” he said.
The company expects to open 30 new outlets this year. More than 15 of these will be overseas and they will open shops under the JD brand in Belgium for the first time, said Small.