France-based sports retailer GoSport saw flat sales last year, despite there being a five per cent increase in the French sporting goods market as a whole.

The chain said the fourth quarter had been adversely affected by bad weather and the disappointing results of a large-scale pre-Christmas promotion.

Courir, the sports shoe retail chain that took over GoSport last year in a merger, continued to perform better last year, with an increase of 4.4 per cent on a same store basis.

GoSport's poor performance in France and continued losses in Belgium and Poland didn't prevent the group from improving its operating profit by 22.5 per cent last year on a pro forma basis to 31.6m euros. The increase was attributed to better purchasing conditions and improved inventory management.

The company plans to open another 30 stores this year, including its fourth Polish outlet in Katowice. Nine other GoSport shops will open in France.