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JD Sports’ outdoor business returns to profit


The owner of UK tackle suppliers GO Outdoors and Fishing Republic delivered a record-breaking profit before tax last year.

JD Sports, a leading retailer of sports, fashion and outdoor brands, posted a 49% increase in pre-tax profit of £947.2m (2021: £421.3m) for the 12 months ended January 29th, 2022.

The group also reported a return to profit before tax and exceptional items for its outdoor business, posting £25.9m (-£6.1m), citing an elevated demand for holidays in the UK and a general recognition of the physical and mental benefits of spending time outdoors.

In the UK and Ireland, its business, which includes the JD Sports chain, posted a profit of £471.2m (£262.7m) with a strong retention of sales through its digital channels when its stores were temporarily closed during the COVID pandemic, combined with strong demand upon reopening.

Helen Ashton, Interim Chair, said: “This result demonstrates our capacity for growth in both existing and new markets and the strength of our global proposition and consumer engagement instore and online.

“While we are encouraged by the resilient nature of the consumer demand in the current year to date, we remain conscious of the headwinds that prevail at this time, including the general world macro-economic and geopolitical situation. Against this backdrop the Board believes the headline profit before tax and exceptional items this year-end will be in line with the record performance of last year.”

Following the resignation of founder and Chairman Peter Cowgill in May, after a string of negative headlines that he had too much control of the FTSE 100 company, a search for a CEO is ongoing.

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