UK: JJB Sports Scores With Strong First Half
Britain's biggest sportswear retailer JJB Sports scored a big jump in first-half pre-tax profits on Wednesday and said it had kicked off a strong start to the second half, sending its shares higher.
The company reported an increase in same-store sales during the first half to the end of July up 9 per cent, while same-store sales for the first nine weeks of the second half were up 8 per cent. The company said that current trading following the September 11 attacks was "entirely satisfactory".
Pre-tax profits before goodwill amortisation increased by 65 per cent to £47.2 million in the same period. Gross margin rose to 48.5 per cent from 46 per cent and turnover increased by 14 per cent to £347.9m.
JJB has a 20 per cent market share, and believes it is in a relatively strong position to weather any economic storms that may lie ahead. A leader in the out-of-town sportswear market, the company has an aggressive pricing strategy and exclusive supply contracts that should stand it in good stead.
With an expansion strategy based on opening large superstores, JJB is gradually opening larger and larger stores. In the first half, it opened 12 such stores, bringing the total to 432 stores, including 233 superstores. Plans for more superstores are in the pipeline, with the group seeing room for over 500 in the future.
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