Retail group Sports Direct is expecting full-year underlying earnings to be in line with market expectations, despite battling the toughest trading conditions in the company's history.

Updating prior to the release of its second half interim results on 17 December, the UK's largest sports retailer said trading conditions - described in September as the hardest the company had ever faced - were unchanged.

Nonetheless, it added, trading in the year to date was in line with the group's expectations, leaving it to predict full-year underlying EBITDA of about GBP135m (US$219m), broadly in line with market expectations.

Sports Direct, which owns brands including Lillywhites, Sports World, Slazenger and Dunlop, will report interim results for the 26 weeks to 26 October on 17 December.

Earlier in the month Sports Direct snapped up a GBP3.4m (US$5.9m) stake in rival operator JJB Sports, representing a 5% share in the business.