Sporting goods retailer Sports Direct has invested GBP48.15m (US$97.77m) on a stake in Adidas Group, two months after its founder Mike Ashley sold his own 3.14% stake in the German company.

Sports Direct has bought 1.6m shares in Adidas - reportedly representing a 1% stake in the manufacturer, which last year combined with the Reebok brand.

The company said: "This is consistent with Sports Direct's policy of pursuing strategic investment opportunities where it believes that an investment will provide the opportunity to gain strategic or commercial advantage with the objective of creating shareholder value."

Ashley purchased his own stake in March following the stock market flotation of Sports Direct, and was estimated to have made EUR43m during the three months in which he owned the shares.

Sports Direct, which is in the midst of buying US boxing brand Everlast for $168m, announced a 16.8% fall in pre-tax profit this month as it was hit by a number of exceptional items related to its flotation in February and stiflingly wet weather conditions in the UK.

Sports Direct's share price was up 1.73% to 146.750 pence today (27 July).