Sports Direct International plc, the UK's leading sports retailer, reported Group sales for the nine weeks ended March 30 were up 10.3 percent to £360.0 million ($435mm). Gross profit increased 11.5 percent to £147.0 million ($178mm), or 40.8 percent of sales, up from 40.4 percent achieved a year earlier. 


Sports Retail sales in the 9 week period increased 11.0 percent to £293.3 million ($354mm), and Sports Retail gross margins reached 41.1 percent, up 140 basis points from the same period in 2013.


Premium Lifestyle sales in the period were up 0.7 percent to £27.1m ($33mm) on a gross margin of 36.8 percent, which represented a decline of 140 basis points from the year earlier results.


The Brands division, which owns 28 internationally recognized sports, fashion and lifestyle brands including Dunlop, Slazenger, Everlast, Lonsdale and Karrimor, generated revenue of £39.6m ($48mm), up 12.8 percent from a year earlier. Gross margins declined 540 basis points to 42.2 percent.


The unaudited results included results from Republic, which was acquired on Feb. 28, 2013, but exclude results from Sports Eybl & Sports Experts AG and Sportland International Group AS, which were acquired on June 26 and Aug. 12 respectively in 2013. Sports Direct said it would release the Group's preliminary results for the fiscal year ended April 27 on July 17.


“Sports Retail continues to perform well since the end of January, primarily driven by our on-going focus on exceptional quality, unbeatable value, availability and the continued optimisation of sales between stores and online,” said Dave Forsey, chief executive of Sports Direct International plc..


Sports Direct is the UK's leading sports retailer by revenue and operating profit, with approximately 400 stores across the UK. It operates in 19 countries in Europe, including Belgium, Austria, Slovenia, Portugal and France.