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JD Sports eyes near-£1bn profits following strong festive period

Evoke design for JD Sports

North West retail and online sportswear chain JD Sports Fashion has said annual profits will be towards the top end of expectations after festive sales grew more than 20 per cent.

The company said it had recorded its highest-ever weekly trading in the run-up to Christmas. It described performance in the six weeks to December 31 as “particularly impressive” both in stores and online in a statement to the LSE , helping it notch up total sales growth of 10 per cent in the 22 weeks so far of its second half,.

It added that the performance of its North American operations had been particularly strong, delivering growth of over 20 per cent in the second half to date, while the business had also maintained momentum in Europe, Asia Pacific and the UK and Eire.

JD Sports said it now expects group underlying pre-tax profits for the year to January 28 to be towards the top end of market expectations, which range from £933 million to £985 million.

It added: “The ultimate outturn will, however, reflect trading through the remainder of January, with the post-Christmas sale period still to take place in some of our most important European markets.”

Regis Schultz, chief executive of JD Sports, said the group had so far been able to keep a lid on price hikes, with a small increase thanks to easing supply chain disruption and shipping costs.

He added: “There’s a very volatile economic outlook, but we believe we have the best proposition to enter 2023.”

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