Bury-based FTSE 100 retailer JD Sports Fashion Plc said on Tuesday its revenue increased 30% to £6.1 billion and its profit before tax and exceptional items jumped 24% to £438.8 million in the year to February 1.
However, JD Sports canceled its final dividend to preserve cash as executive chairman Peter Cowgill warned: “Looking longer term, there is inevitably considerable uncertainty as to what the effect of COVID-19 will be on consumer behaviour and footfall with future store investments highly dependent on rental realism and lease flexibility.”
Pentland Group, which owns brands including Speedo, Canterbury, Berghaus and Lacoste Chaussures, is a major shareholder of JD Sports with a stake of more than 50%.
Cowgill said: “Whilst COVID-19 has constrained our short term progress, it is important that we do not lose sight of the core retail standards and commercial disciplines which have underpinned our longer term growth to date.
“JD has a market leading multi-channel proposition which maximises its consumer relevance and reach by creating, and then maintaining, a deep emotional connection with its consumers who see JD as an authoritative and trustworthy source of style and fashion inspiration with influences drawn from both sport and music …
“We were encouraged by the continued positive trading in the early weeks of the year prior to the emergence of COVID-19 and we firmly believe that we are well placed to regain our previous momentum …”