Retailer Sports Direct International is on track to meet market expectations for full-year earnings after sales jumped 12% in the 13 weeks to 25 January.

The company said UK retail sales performed ahead of expectations as group sales hit GBP355m (US$505m), with gross profit just beating last year at GBP143m.

However, Sports Direct said gross margins had been impacted by the weakness of the pound against the dollar.

But the company stressed it remained "comfortable" with underlying EBITDA market expectations of GBP135m for fiscal 2009.

"The board is pleased with the group's trading performance during the quarter, particularly with the UK retail division which has benefited from specific management focus," said CEO Dave Forsey.

Forsey admitted that the weak pound had had an impact on margins during the period, but said the company was committed to maintaining effective control on stock levels and costs, as long as market conditions remained challenging.