• FY pre-tax profit up 5%
  • Sales climb 5.7%
  • Fashion trading loss widens

The fashion arm of UK retailer JD Sports has revealed disappointing year-end results, despite the group publishing earnings above analyst expectations.

For the 12 months ended 2 February, pre-tax profits climbed 5% to GBP57.8m (US$96.7m) from GBP55.1m a year earlier.

Sales were up 5.7% to GBP1.33bn, while like-for-like revenues increased by 6.7%. Sales included GBP33.5m in relation to the Canterbury business which was disposed of during the year.

The company, however, cited a "difficult year" for its fashion brand, with operating losses increasing to GBP6.4m from GBP1.7m last year. A new managing director was appointed to drive the turnaround.

Nonetheless, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Freddie George offered an optimistic view.

"The JD format is a clearly differentiated format, which has been strengthened over the last year and has significant potential to be developed overseas with the support of the international sports brands. We are also confident that the outdoor and fashion losses will either be markedly reduced over the next two years or management will be under pressure to dispose of these activities."