Sportswear chain JJB Sports has reported better-than-expected first-half results but said a competitive market environment was hampering its margins.

For the 26 weeks to 30 July, revenue grew 12.1% to GBP381.6 (US$712.44m) compared to GBP340.4m previously. Pre-tax profit was GBP18.2m, a 0.5% rise from last year. After-tax profit was down 22.9%.
Same-store revenue during the period jumped 9.5%, JJB said.

Turning to current trading, the company said total and same-store revenue grew 8.8% for the 11 weeks to 15 October. This was accompanied by a slightly improved gross margin.

Non-executive chairman Roger Lane-Smith said JJB was "encouraged by the revenue improvement and the marginal increase in pre-tax profit" but referred to "difficult trading conditions" and said an example of this was the intense pricing wars on World Cup lines.