JD Sports profit soars on US strength and pent-up demand
JD Sports Fashion reported record first-half results boosted by pent-up demand after UK stores reopened from lockdown and acquisitions in the US.
Pretax profit before exceptional items jumped to £439.5m in the six months to the end of July from £61.9m a year earlier as revenue rose to £3.89bn from £2.54bn.
JD said it expected annual headline pretax profit for the full year to be at least £750m. The FTSE 100 retailer declared no interim dividend but said the final dividend could be larger depending on potential trading restrictions.
Pretax profit before exceptionals at the core JD business in the UK and Ireland rose to £170.8m from £52m a year earlier and £115m in the first half of 2019 as customers shopped online during lockdowns and spent more once stores reopened. Profit in the US rose to £245m from £73.4m a year earlier supported by £73m from the acquisitions of Shoe Palace and DTLR and the Biden administration's fiscal stimulus measures.
Chairman Peter Cowgill said: "The group continues to demonstrate outstanding resilience in the face of numerous challenges arising from the continued prevalence of the Covid-19 pandemic in many countries, widespread strain on international logistics and other supply chain challenges, materially lower levels of footfall into stores in many countries after reopening and the ongoing administrative and cost consequences resulting from the loss of tariff free, frictionless trade with the European Union."
Trading in the first few weeks of the second half has been generally encouraging though retail footfall is comparatively weak in many countries, JD said.
JD shares rose 7.7% to £11.30 at 08:46 BST and were the biggest gainers in the FTSE 100 index. The shares have gained 38% in 2021.
"JD Sports reports an impressive set of interim results this morning," Shore Capital said. "Today’s short statement should reassure investors that the group remains on track as it delivers a year of good growth in revenues and earnings."
Updated fourth paragraph to show figures referred to UK and Ireland.