JD Sports profit up 24% to £294m on £3.2bn revenue

Shares of Bury-based JD Sports Fashion rose more than 4% after it said its profit before tax increased 24% to £294.5 million on revenue that rose 33% to £3.16 billion in the 53 weeks ended February 3, 2018.

Profit before tax and exceptional items rose 26% to £307.4 million.

Final dividend increased by 5.4% to 1.37p, bringing total dividends for the year to 1.63p per share, an increase of 5.2%.

JD Sports Fashion shares rose 4.3% to 368p to give the firm a current stock market value of around £3.4 billion, according to Reuters data.

JD Sports Fashion executive chairman Peter Cowgill said: “This is an excellent result demonstrating our capacity for continuing growth in both existing and new markets, and the strength of our offer in store and online.

“After delivering a headline profit of £100 million for the first time in the year to January 2015, the headline profit has increased by more than £200 million over the subsequent three years, a rise in excess of 200%.

“This sustained growth could not have been achieved without a relentless and ongoing focus on a number of key principles which ensure we remain the undisputed consumer destination of choice for sport lifestyle footwear and apparel.

“The investments we have made over a number of years in developing our multichannel proposition and driving improved buying, merchandising and retail discipline have ultimately led to the creation of a world class sports fashion business which combines the best of physical and digital retail on an increasingly global scale.

“We are very encouraged by the progress that we are making internationally and we continue to look for further opportunities to bring our dynamic multichannel proposition to new markets around the world with the support of our key brands.”

 Analysts at Peel Hunt wrote: “JD’s FY numbers are ahead of our expectations and the beat was high quality, coming from a very strong LFL store and online performance.

“At a tough time for the industry and the consumer, that’s a stand-out effort and it is clear that the JD offer is exactly what the customers want, be that physically or online.

“Coming as it does at a moment when the big brands are thinking further about consolidating their retailer lists, such form is invaluable and we see the move to the US as another logical step towards JD becoming a global brand and thus a key partner of the big suppliers.

“These are revolutionary times in the industry and its hard to find a sports retailer playing its cards as well as JD: we upgrade again today (only small) but from a lowly multiple (even more lowly if JD gets Finish Line), the shares are a must have for the short and long term.”