• Group sales up 5.4% to GBP295m in nine weeks to 26 September
  • Gross profit up 5.4% to GBP117m
  • Expects good H1 but tough early 2011

Retailer Sports Direct International posted a 5.4% increase in both sales and gross profit in the nine weeks to 26 September, with retail sales moving up 6.9% over the same period.

Updating in advance of the end of the first half of its 2010/11 fiscal year, the UK company said its first half results would be “significantly above” last year.

“Following the first quarter of our financial year, which included the World Cup tournament, we remain pleased with the continuing strong underlying performance across all our divisions,” said Dave Forsey, company chief executive.

“However, we believe the early part of 2011 will be extremely challenging for all retailers in the UK.”

Forsey said Sports Direct remained “comfortable” with its target of full-year underlying EBITDA of GBP205m (US$322m).

The company will announce its first half results on 16 December.