JD Sports Fashion reported on Tuesday that profits jumped in the first half of the year. After the easing or the lifting of the prescribed lockdowns, the company benefited from the pent-up demand.
The pre-tax profit had increased by July 31st from GBP 41.5 million (EUR 48.7 million) in the comparable period to GBP 364.6 million (EUR 428.1 million). Sales improved from GBP 2.54 billion (EUR 2.98 billion) to GBP 3.88 billion (EUR 4.56 billion) and gross profit increased from 45.6 percent to 48.5 percent. The group result before taxes and special measures climbed to a record value of GBP 439.5 million (EUR 516.0 million), where a year earlier only an increase of GBP 61.9 million (EUR 72.2 million) was achieved. In 2019 the value was GBP 158.6 million (EUR 186.2 million).
“Significant contributions” from the USA were included. In this market, the accumulated earnings before taxes and special items were £ 245 million (EUR 288 million) compared to £ 73.4 million (EUR 86.2 million) in the previous year and £ 35.7 million (EUR 41 million) in the previous year , 9 million) in 2019. The latest acquisitions of Shoe Palace and DTLR hit GBP 72.9 million (EUR 85.6 million).
In the main UK and Ireland markets, JD achieved good results with profits up to GBP 170.8 million (EUR 200.5 million) compared to GBP 52 million (EUR 61 million) in 2020 and GBP 114.9 million (EUR 134.9 million) in 2019. The company “was able to defend its sales in the first quarter, when the stores were temporarily closed, through digital channels and felt a strong demand backlog after the reopening”.
But the company is also active in other regions. With the takeover of the Marketing Investment Group in Poland, the group is also present in Eastern Europe for the first time. Although the rate of store openings was hampered by ongoing construction restrictions in some markets, JD Sports continued to expand. During the reporting period, the company opened 21 new stores in Western Europe and 6 new locations in the Asia / Pacific region (four in Australia and two in Thailand). It also has 66 stores in the US, which are now run by the JD brand.
The outdoor business also returned to profitability in the first half of the year, with a profit before taxes and special measures of GBP 10.8 million (EUR 12.7 million), after a loss of GBP 16.8 million (EUR 19 million) in the previous year .7 million) had been achieved.
CEO Peter Cowgill stated: “The group is showing excellent resilience in the face of the numerous challenges posed by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic in many countries, widespread logistics difficulties in international business and other supply chain problems, and significantly lower numbers of visitors to the stores after the reopening and ongoing administrative and cost implications after the loss of duty-free, smooth trade relationships within the European Union. In light of these challenges, the results achieved in the first half of the year are extremely encouraging. We remain very confident that, thanks to our inherent strengths in retail, we can have a robust platform to make further progress “.
He went on to point out that “our performance in the first few weeks of the second half of the year is generally encouraging, although customer frequency in the retail sector remains comparatively weak in many countries. Assuming a cautious but realistic development, we calculate in view of the upcoming high season and taking into account the lack of dynamism in the USA in the second half of the year and the current industry-wide supply chain difficulties with a consolidated profit for the year before taxes of at least GBP 750 million (EUR 880 million) “.
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