• H1 underlying earnings rise 32.5% to GBP131.3m
  • Revenue up 8.3% to GBP819.9m
  • Tough New Year expected

Sports Direct, the UK's largest sporting goods retailer, has posted higher earnings for the first half of the year.

The retailer said it also reduced net debt by 25.1% to GBP233.6m (364.8m) during the period.

Dave Forsey, chief executive of Sports Direct, said: "The group has continued to perform strongly during the first eight months of this financial year, achieving excellent profit growth across all three main divisions. The initiatives we have been working on have clearly under-pinned this performance.

"Looking ahead and anticipating a tough start to the New Year we are confident of reaching our current year target of underlying EBITDA of GBP205m, which is GBP195m after scheme costs and will trigger the employee bonus share scheme awards."

Click here to read the company's full financial report.