• FY pre-tax profit up 18% to GBP90.5m (US$133.4m) 
  • Revenue grows 25% to GBP1.52bn
  • Robust platform for further growth

UK retailer JD Sports has said a double-digit increase in annual profit, driven by an "outstanding performance" in its sports fashion fascias, provides a "robust" platform for further growth.

Excluding the operations of Bank Fashion, which it sold to a subsidiary of Hilco Capital Ltd in November last year, the company said pre-tax profit reached GBP90.5m (US$133.4m) for the 52 weeks to 31 January, compared to GBP76.8m

Revenue jumped 25% to GBP1.52bn from GBP1.22bn in the prior year, while like-for-like sales increased by 12% - a performance JD described as "exceptional".

"This result has been driven by an outstanding performance in our sports fashion fascias where JD’s unique and often exclusive sports and fashion premium brand offer continues to enthuse and excite both customers and suppliers," said executive chairman Peter Cowgill.

"This, combined with our market leading standards of visual merchandising and disciplines in-store, provides the basis for international success."

Despite the turnaround of its outdoor fascias showing "encouraging" results in the first half, they were somewhat tempered in the second half as milder weather led to an oversupply relative to demand for winter products throughout the season, with consequent high levels of discounting.

Gross margin fell 0.2% to 48.6% from 48.7% a year ago. During the year, the group extended its presence in Europe with the opening of 19 new stores for JD Size?, taking its total to 70.

In terms of current trading, the company said it is "encouraged" by continued positive trading across its core fascias.

"JD Sports maintains a reputation for quality in an industry that has increasingly come under scrutiny," said Conlumino analyst Andrew Hall.

"Its performance under heightened attention will continue to underscore the gap between it and its competitors and is likely to enable JD Sports to make further gains. The retailer has taken important steps to turn around its outdoor propositions and will likely be looking to replicate the trading performance of spring 2014."

Overall, Hall believes the company has shown "shrewd business sense", and is in good shape to continue to grow market share over 2015.