UK retailer JD Sports Fashion forecasts a "satisfactory" increase in first-half profit, after like-for-like sales were boosted by the build-up to the World Cup football tournament. 

The company, which also distributes branded sportswear, fashion wear and outdoor clothing, said the build-up to the World Cup "enhanced" the trading performance of its sports fascias in the 18 weeks to 7 June.

Although the group didn't provide precise like-for-like figures, it noted: "However, we are certainly pleased with the underlying performance of this segment in the period to date". 

The outdoor business is "maintaining positive progress against weak prior year comparatives", and although fashion continues to experience a "varied performance", JD said there are "encouraging signs" for the future.