Bury-based FTSE 100 retailer JD Sports Fashion plc said in an AGM trading update it expects its headline profit before tax and adjusted items for the year end February 3, 2024, will be in line with the current average consensus expectations of £1.04 billion.
The Bury firm said positive trading trends have continued through June in the group’s businesses in the UK, Europe and Asia Pacific although the growth from these regions is partially offset by its businesses in North America which are “experiencing some softening.”
JD Sports said it is on track to open more than 150 stores for the JD fascia over the course of the year.
The firm said: “In the announcement of the Final Results for the 52 weeks ended 28 January 2023, released on 17 May 2023, the group advised that it was reassured with trading in the first three months of the year with growth in organic sales at constant exchange rates of more than 15%.
“The group is pleased to advise that there was further positive trading in all regions through May with overall growth in organic sales at constant exchange rates in the month of around 8%.
“This moderation in the growth was in line with management expectations and reflects tougher comparatives in the prior year as the supply chain normalised and the availability of product improved.
“The positive trends have continued through June in the group’s businesses in the UK, Europe and Asia Pacific although the growth from these regions is partially offset by the businesses in North America which are experiencing some softening in trade consistent with other businesses in the sector.
“Inventories in our businesses in North America are at normal levels and we will be no more promotional than we need to be to remain competitive.
“The board maintains its view that the headline profit before tax and adjusted items for the year end 3 February 2024 will be in line with the current average consensus expectations of £1.04 billion.
“The board also expects that the phasing of the profit in the current year will reflect a normalised trading pattern with approximately 35% of profits generated in the first half.
“Consistent with its ‘JD First’ and global growth strategy, the group opened a net additional 32 JD stores in the first four months of the year and is on track to open more than 150 stores for the JD fascia over the course of the year in line with the targets set out in the group’s Capital Market Event in February.
“Elsewhere, the group still anticipates that the proposed acquisition of the complementary Courir business in Europe, which represents the group’s first acquisitive steps in fulfilling the growth ambitions of the business in underpenetrated markets, will formally close later in the year.
“The mandatory consultation process with the Courir works council has now completed with good progress being made on the preparation of the mandatory anti-trust submission.”