Fresh off its acquisition of Finish Line Inc., JD Sports Fashion Plc reported profit before tax grew 24 percent to £294.5 million in fiscal year 2018 ended Feb. 3.
Sales of £3.2 billion marked a 33 percent increase over fiscal year 2017, which had one fewer week than 2018. Operating profit (before exceptional items) jumped 25 percent to £308.8 million.
“This is an excellent result demonstrating our capacity for continuing growth in both existing and new markets, and the strength of our offer in store and online,” said Chairman Peter Cowgill.
By segment, Sports Fashion saw operating profits (before exceptional items) increase by 22 percent to £300 million. Like-for-like store sales growth in the period across the company’s European fascias (excluding those businesses acquired in the year) was 3 percent. Revenues in the segment reached £2.7 billion.
Banners in the Sports Fashion segment include JD, Size?, Chausport, Sprinter, Getthelabel.com, Kooga, Kukri Sports, Focus, Source Lab, Scotts, Tessuti, Cloggs, Nicholas Deakins and Mainline Menswear.
The overall gross margin in Sports Fashion was 49.2 percent, down slighty from 49.4 percent in the prior year; however, the company said that “given the relative weakness of sterling after the Brexit vote and the impact that this had on cost prices then we are pleased to have maintained the overall gross margin in Sports Fashion at a level similar to that in the previous year.”
The Outdoor segment saw operating profit (before exceptional items) of £8.8 million. Revenues in the segment was £416.4 million. Its outdoor banners include Blacks, Millets, Tiso, Go Outdoors and Ultimate Outdoors.
Looking ahead, the company said, “Given the significant change in the timing of Easter relative to last year, it is not relevant to issue any detailed update at this time on trading to date in the new financial year. However, at this early stage, we are satisfied with progress and remain confident about the prospects for the current financial year. Our next scheduled update will take place upon the announcement of our Interim Results, which is scheduled for Sept. 11.”