Sporting goods retailer JJB Sports has posted a second-half revenue climb, helped along by encouraging festive sales.

The UK's largest sports retailer, which has been the subject of takeover rumours this week, reported that total revenue for the 22 weeks to 31 December 2006 was 6% higher than in the comparative period last year and included an increase in like-for-like revenue of 6.3%.

''JJB's performance over both periods has been satisfactory and is in line with the board's expectations,'' the company said.

Margin from both the retail stores and the company's health club units was 170 basis points higher than that earned in the same 22-week period last year.

Total revenue for the five week period leading up to 31 December 2006 was 4.5% higher than the equivalent period, including a like-for-like increase of 5.4%. The retailer's gross margin for this period was 210 basis points higher than that earned in the comparative period.

JJB has opened seven combined units during the current accounting period, which is less than the number anticipated in its last interim statement.

JJB non-executive chairman Roger Lane-Smith said: ''I am pleased with JJB's trading performance throughout the current accounting period, including around Christmas and New Year.

"Looking forward to 2007, I believe that the progress we have made following the introduction of new distribution arrangements with Nike and Adidas gives us the opportunity to further emphasise our 'Serious about Sport' stance and that the continuing roll-out of combined health clubs/superstores, will result in an increased contribution to profits from our Leisure Division."

The company could be the subject of a GBP500m (US$970.7m) bid from European private equity firm Permira, according to reports last weekend.

JJB founder and chairman Dave Whelan, whose other assets include Wigan football and rugby clubs, would leave the company should there be an acquisition, reported the City AM newspaper.

However, CEO Tom Knight today (10 January) told reporters that talk of a possible bid from private equity group Permira is 'news to me'.

The retailer was not available to comment on the speculation when contacted by just-style yesterday (9 January).