UK sportswear retailer JJB Sports is to close 72 of its stores after reporting a 71.9% slump in annual pre-tax profit.

The retailer, whose profit fell to GBP10.8m, said that seven of these stores are to be re-badged under the Original Shoe Company fascia which it acquired in January this year.

The retailer has made a restructuring provision of GBP25.0m to implement the store closure programme.

JJB reported a slight increase in full-year revenue, up 0.2% to GBP811.8m, despite "difficult" comparatives with the period including the 2006 World Cup.

Like-for-like revenue rose by a similar amount, the company said.

Commenting today (16 April), Roger Lane-Smith, JJB chairman, said: "We are taking significant action to improve the performance of JJB's retail stores.

"Whilst we have identified a number of stores for closure, which will itself strengthen our remaining store portfolio, we are also investing to improve the quality of our stores and product with further store refits, the introduction of new products from our own brands and the implementation of staff training and incentivisation programmes.

"We also plan to continue to open more combined fitness clubs and superstores, which continue to deliver strong results.

"Whilst we expect current difficult market conditions to continue to affect consumers in the short term, we believe the action we are taking represents a turning point for the company, which will benefit performance over the medium-term."