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TOP NEWS: JD Sports declares surging dividend on rising interim profit

21st Sep 2023 09:23

(Alliance News) - JD Sports Fashion PLC on Thursday said profit rose in the first half of 2023, alongside revenue, while it more than doubled its interim dividend payout to shareholders.

The Lancashire-based, FTSE 100-listed sportswear retailer said pretax profit rose 26% to GBP375.2 million from GBP298.3 million a year earlier.

Revenue also rose 8.3% to GBP4.78 billion from GBP4.42 billion.

This was partly offset by rising costs, with cost of sales rising 9.2% to GBP2.49 billion from GBP2.28 billion, selling and distribution expenses excluding adjusted items up 11% to GBP1.67 billion from GBP1.50 billion and administrative expenses excluding adjusted items rising 3.5% to GBP250.2 million from GBP241.8 million.

In the first half of 2022, adjusted items within administrative expenses totalled around GBP85.2 million. A year later in the current reporting period, this swung to a reversal of GBP1.7 million.

As a result of the improved performance, JD Sports opted to more than double its interim dividend to shareholders to 0.30 pence each from 0.13 pence.

Shares in JD Sports were up 7.1% to 142.40 pence each in London on Thursday morning.

"We have delivered a strong first half to our financial period with organic sales growth of 12% and profit on track for the full year. In line with our strategic plan, growth is being driven by our premium Sports Fashion business with an impressive performance in Europe (up 27%) and North America (up 15%), supported by a strong performance in our more mature UK market (up 8%). This performance continued in the important back to school period," said Chief Executive Officer Regis Schulz.

"We have made good progress delivering on our strategic pillars, focusing on expanding the JD brand and we will open more than 200 JD stores worldwide in this financial period. We are going to accelerate JD brand growth in Europe through purchasing the non-controlling interest in both ISRG and MIG, and the acquisition of GAP stores in France. This is alongside the proposed acquisition of Courir in the region, which will, when completed, enhance the group's existing portfolio of complementary concepts, bringing into the company its market-leading focus on the female customer."

Looking ahead, JD Sports said trading has continued in line with its expectations over the last seven weeks, expecting financial 2024 pretax profit to be in line with market expectations of GBP1.04 billion.

This would represent a more than doubling upside to its financial 2023 pretax profit of 440.9 million.

JD Sports said it is continuing to open new JD stores worldwide and is on track to meet its full-year store targets.

By Greg Rosenvinge, Alliance News reporter

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