JD Sports Fashion PLC (LSE:JD.) reported record profits for the year but said it was “conscious of the headwinds that prevail at this time including the general global macro-economic and geopolitical situation.”
As a result, the UK’s largest sports retailer expects headline profit before tax and exceptional items for the year to January 2023 to be in line with this year’s performance.
For the 12 months ending January 29 2022, profit before tax and exceptional items was £947.2mln, more than double the previous record set in the year to February 2020.
“This result demonstrates our capacity for growth in both existing and new markets, and the strength of our global proposition and consumer engagement in store and online,” said interim chair, Helen Ashton.
The record performance was down to its Sports Fashion business, which performed strongly in the UK, Republic of Ireland and North America in particular.
“It is increasingly evident that the group’s progress in North America, and the United States in particular, is having a long-term positive impact both on the group’s overall performance and its relationships with the international brands,” Ashton added.
The outdoor branch returned to profitability due to an “elevated demand for holidays in the UK and a general recognition of the physical and mental health benefits of spending time outdoors.”
Strategically, the group continues to expand its global reach through both acquisitions and the opening of new stores, such as the acquisition of DTLR, a fashion retailer on the East Coast of the US, or the opening of the first stores in Poland and Romania.
JD Sports also said it is undertaking work to “enhance the logistics network and fulfilment capabilities across the UK and Western Europe,” with work ongoing in Derby, Dublin and Heerlen in The Netherlands.
The hunt for a new chief executive is also ongoing following Peter Cowgill’s resignation last month.