Mike Ashley’s clothing empire Sports Direct is toasting a surge in profits after higher sales over Christmas.
The Newcastle United owner’s business reported a quarterly profit of £280.7m for the six months to February 18, an increase of 14.6%, and shares went up more than 5% in early trading as a result.
Group sales for the 13 weeks to 26 January soared through Sports Retail, increasing 11.2% to £655.4m.
Dave Forsey, chief executive of Sports Direct International plc, said: “Despite tougher comparisons during the period, Sports Retail continues to perform well driven by our on-going focus on exceptional quality, unbeatable value and availability. Online also performed strongly with non-UK online gross profit contribution expected to be greater than the UK equivalent by the end of this financial year.
“While we retain the ability to invest in margin, inventory and Group marketing to deliver long-term sustainable growth, the board is very confident of achieving at least our full year internal underlying EBITDA target of £310m, before the charge for the Employee Bonus Share Scheme.”