French sporting goods retailer Groupe Go Sport reported its losses more than doubled in the first half ended June 30 compared with a year earlier, despite a turnaround in second quarter sales.


Groupe Go Sport sales grew 3.9 percent to €149.9 million ($205mm) in the quarter ended June 30, or 5.8 percent in currency-neutral (c-n) terms, compared with a 6.8 percent (-6.1 percent c-n) decline in the first quarter.  Sales increased 4.1 percent (5.3 percent c-n) at Go Sport France, fell -4.3 percent (-6.0 percent c-n) at Go Sport Poland, and increased 2.0 percent (11.2 percent c-n) at its specialty running chain Courir during the quarter.


The company operated 337 retail outlets as of June 30, including 139 corporate owned Go Sport stores, 39 franchised Go Sport stores and 159 Courir stores.


For the first half, or semester, Groupe Go Sport’s consolidated net sales dipped 1.8 percent (-0.6 percent c-n) to €305.1 million ($418 mm) from €310.8 million in the first semester of 2013. EBITDA worsened to  -€10.4 million, compared with -€7.8 million in the first half of 2013. The group reported a net loss of -€19.2 million, compared with -€8.6 million a year earlier.


Sales at GO Sport France slipped 3.5 percent (-2.6 percent c-n) to €199.9 million during the semester, while sales at Go Sport Poland slipped -1.0 percent (-2.0 percent c-n) to €26.9 million in a still, highly competitive environment. Courir, a chain of specialty running stores expanding into outdoor and other footwear, posted its eighth consecutive first semester of sales growth with 2.5 percent (5.2 percent c-n) growth.


Groupe GO Sport will maintain an intense level of promotional activity in the back half it a bid to grow market share. That plan also calls for opening more stores and launching a new e-commerce platform in the third quarter.