Troubled UK sporting goods retailer JJB Sports is in talks to settle rental payments for stores where it has ceased trading, after reports last week that bailiffs had been sent to several of its locations.

JJB, which earlier in the year announced plans to close 72 of its stores amid slumping profits, defended its position today (13 October) saying that rental finances were under control.

A spokesperson for the company told just-style: "The company has paid its rent in a timely manner to stores where it is operational, and it is in ongoing negotiations with landlords in a handful of stores where it has ceased trading."

Last week JJB was dealt a blow when insurer Coface said it was withdrawing credit insurance from its suppliers.

In addition, the company recently announced shock first-half losses of GBP9.7m (US$17m), with the company's auditors casting "significant doubt" on the company's ability to continue as a going concern.

However, JJB chief executive Chris Ronnie said: "Whilst we remain extremely cautious about the current economic climate, we are absolutely convinced that our business model is right."

By Joe Ayling, news editor.