Retailer JJB Sports Plc today (8 July) said it is continuing to make good progress in carrying out its turnaround plan, but warned the UK retail market "continues to be extremely challenging and is likely to remain so for some time."

Speaking at the firm's AGM, chairman Mike McTighe said: "We are delivering on our business plan objectives and progress remains on track.

"Whilst we expect the retail environment to remain extremely challenging over the medium term, we are confident of delivering the full turnaround to ensure JJB's future as a prosperous business."

The company, which is in the midst of a restructuring after coming perilously close to going into administration, has closed 38 stores, completed 8 store refits, and re-aligned its cost base.

It added that in the 22 weeks to 3 July, "the overall financial performance of the business has been in line with the board's expectations."

JJB Sports, which trades from over 200 JJB branded retail stores in the UK and Ireland and employs over 5,200 people, more than doubled its pre-tax losses to GBP181.4m (US$294.9m) last year.