Fri, 26th Jul 2019
Confusing surrounding Sports Direct is continuing, as the company issued a statement saying that it was ‘still finalising’ its results, and that it would give an update before the end of the day.
It is unusual for a large company to have to delay their results in this way, with one analyst calling the situation “a shambles”. This is not the first time that the company’s full-year results have been delayed. They were originally due to be published on the 18 July, so they are now long overdue.
At the time of the first delay, Sports Direct blamed the issues on uncertainty surrounding the House of Fraser chain, which it had acquired last year. They also cited the increased scrutiny of Grant Thornton, who are serving as auditor. At the time, they indicated that the chain may not achieve their profit forecast.
Typically companies publish their full-year results at 7AM before the London markets open. Sports Direct’s failure to do so is something that is being seen as having a disregard for shareholders. Analyst Neil Wilson commented that the issues betray a number of problems at Mike Ashley’s business, which could be traced back to when Ashley embarked on an aggressive acquisition spree.
Other analysts expressed similar sentiments, noting that Sports Direct, and Ashley’s brands in general, have a track record of unusual actions and behaviour, and that these latest events may not be good news for a company that is taking on the challenge of trying to turn around ailing high street chains such as House of Fraser.