JD Sports on track for higher annual profit as demand for premium leisurewear holds up

JD Sports on track for higher annual profit as demand for premium leisurewear holds up

  • JD Sports organic sales are up 12% after higher sales of its premium leisurewear
  • Shares are up 8% to 143.64p on Thursday morning  

JD Sports said it was on track to post a higher annual profit as demand for premium leisurewear pushed sales higher.

Despite financial pressures, JD’s typically younger customer base has continued to splash out on brands like Nike and Adidas.

The retailer said revenue grew 7 per cent to £4.7billion in constant currency terms, with organic sales growth up 12 per cent in the six months to 29 July 2023. 

King of trainers: JD Sports said it’s on track for higher profit after higher sales in its premium business

Supply chain issues seem to have been ironed out with JD noting ‘better product availability’ which has helped drive higher revenue.

JD said it was on track to post annual pre-tax profit of £1.04billion, up five per cent on last year.

Shares in JD Sports are up 8 per cent to 143.64p, having gained 16 per cent over the past year. 

JD’s premium range, which represents 80 per cent of its entire sports fashion business – grew 16 per cent to £3.5billion. 

Operating profit dipped 5 per cent, which it said was ‘due primarily to operational infrastructure investment.’

Its UK and Ireland businesses performed well over the period, with its premium segment growing its revenue by 8 per cent to £1.2billion and organic sales growth of 8 per cent.

Strong footfall in Europe helped premium revenue grow 28 per cent to £773.8million in the region, with organic sales growth of 27 per cent.

Mamta Valechha, equity research analyst at Quilter Cheviot said: ‘While the standout performance came from Europe, which was up 27 per cent, the key focus on today’s results will be North America, where the market has been quite nervous following profit warnings from Foot Locker and Dick’s Sporting Goods. 

‘JD Sports, however, is in a different ballpark to these peers and it produced solid results in the face of a weakening consumer.

‘Sales were up 15 per cent and this is a great vindication of its strategy and signals the relative strength of its product offerings versus peers.’

Susannah Streeter, of Hargreaves Lansdown, added: ‘JD Sports is benefiting from the resilience of US consumers, with sales in its US division growing by 15 per cent. 

‘The lure of a new pair of trainers still clearly holds sway over household budgets even if purse strings are tightened elsewhere.’

The retailer said trading across the group had continued in line within expectations over the last seven weeks.

JD Sports will increase its interim dividend to pre-pandemic levels.