Sports Direct International enjoys 15% annual rise in profits

17th July 2014

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Retailer Sports Direct International has achieved a 15% rise in annual pre-tax profits to £239.5m, up from £207.2m a year earlier.

In its results for the 12 months ended 27 April, the group reported that revenues jumped 23.8% to £2.7bn and like-for-like sales rose 10.5%.

However despite the jump in profits, shares in the FTSE 100 constituent had fallen 1% or 10.5p to 703p by 9:30am. Over the past 12 months however the stock is 21% higher and the market consensus still rates the Lillywhite’s owner a ‘buy’.

Sheridan Admans, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, said: “The share price has raced ahead over the past two years on the back of impressive sales and profit growth. We recommend Sports Direct as a ‘buy’ for investors as we become more confident in the improving economic outlook both in the UK and Europe, aiding the company’s strategy to expand. Momentum and expansion should support the share price and we recommend investors drip feed into the stock on dips.”

In a statement the business said its strategy of international expansion remains on course, with the acquisition of Eybl and Sports Experts AG (EAG) in Austria, and Sportland International Group (SIG) in the Baltic region.

Commenting on the results, chief executive, Dave Forsey said: “We have delivered another record year of out-performance especially within our Sports Retail division. This success is underpinned by our core strategy, offering our customers a wide range of products which represent exceptional quality and unbeatable value.”

Sports Direct’s annual results arrive just after it issued a statement announcing that its founder and executive deputy chairman Mike Ashley, has withdrawn from the group’s 2015 bonus scheme.

Keith Hellawell, non-executive chairman said: “The resolution passed by shareholders to implement the 2015 bonus share scheme clearly recognises the success of previous company-wide schemes, and the significant contribution from Mike.

“Mike remains fully committed to achieving the scheme’s stretch targets. Regarding the allocation of shares, Mike’s focus is on ensuring that the scheme aligns all employees to achieve the Company’s objectives. Following recent unhelpful speculation surrounding his potential allocation, he is determined to ensure that there is the maximum number of shares available for the eligible employees.”

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