• HY loss before taxation of GBP46.0m
  • Firm was on 'the brink administration'
  • Gross margin 33.6%

Sporting goods retailer JJB Sports has announced spiralling losses for the first half of the year, but remains confident that restructuring moves will eventually pay off.

The company posted an adjusted loss before taxation GBP46.0m (US$74.4m) for the 26 weeks to 26 July 2009, from GBP13.9m in the same period last year.

JJB was forced into a restructuring plan being on 'the brink of going into administration' during the first-half, resulting in a 45% reduction in head office staffing levels, and 16% reduction in warehousing staffing levels.

Its new management has adopted a Serious about Sport strategy, which focuses more on brands like Nike and Adidas than 'down market brands'.

Total revenue during the HY period was GBP178.6m, from GBP310.4m in the prior year period. Gross margin stood at 33.6%, compared to 46.8% last year.

JJB Sports executive chairman Sir David Jones said: "Today's announcement shows a marked decline in ongoing retail operations compared to the same period last year largely because of stock shortages in our stores during the period.

"We are confident that the actions we have taken during the period to restructure the business will allow us to move forward and rebuild our stock inventory by the first quarter of 2010."

During the period the company placed footwear subsidiaries Original Shoe Company Limited and Qubefootwear Limited into administration, sold its Fitness Club business, and implemented a CVA proposal.

Click here to view the entire JJB Sports interim report on the London Stock Exchange.