JD Sports shares surge to new high
Shares in Britain's JD Sports Fashion PLC climbed to a record high after strong demand for leisure clothing helped to drive a 55pc rise in headline annual pre-tax profit - its biggest increase in eight years.
At one stage yesterday shares in the company traded 11pc higher at 453 pence, scaling new peaks and taking the gains for the year so far to more than 40pc. The company's market valuation now exceeds £4bn (€4.68bn).
JD Sports has exploited growing demand for branded sports shoes and clothes to overtake Sports Direct as the country's biggest sportswear retailer by market value, although both companies have come under fire over poor working conditions.
In 2001 it acquired Champion Sports, which had 23 stores in Ireland. It now has a number of outlets in Ireland.
The share price rise came despite some cautious noises from the company about rising inflation.
"Inflation is rising above the rate of income increases and the way the pound has moved since the Brexit vote. I think there is still a bit of inflation to move in, but we think we are quite high up in consumer's shopping priority," said chief financial officer Brian Small.
"We need to acknowledge that the consumer might be slightly harder pressed in this Christmas than they were in last Christmas," Mr Small added.
JD Sports sell brands such as Superdry, Nike, The North Face, Adidas and many others through its JD shops. The company also offers a number of exclusive items from Nike and Adidas. (Reuters)