JD Sports sees positive festive sales, but global ops are key
With many in UK retail reporting sales falls for the Christmas trading period it was encouraging on Friday to see JD Sports Fashion talking about “positive like-for-like trends in the group's global Sports Fashion fascias”.
But it ended that statement with the words “particularly overseas” so it’s clear that even JD is slower in the UK than elsewhere.
Not that the turbulence in UK retail at present is as much of an issue for the firm as it might have once been. The UK, which has faced “widely reported retail challenges”, may be its “core market”, but its international operations are growing in importance as each year goes by. Yet while this is good news, it also made it hard for the company to predict how the year to February 1 will end up.
The company said that “given the increasing significance of our international businesses in the overall group result, and the fact that there is a differentiated timing of the post-Christmas sale period in a number of our key overseas markets, the ultimate outturn will reflect trading in these markets through the remainder of January”.
However, it remains “confident” that full-year group headline pre-tax profit “will be in the upper quartile of current market expectations which, after adjusting for the impact of the transition to IFRS 16, range from £403 million to £433 million”.
That confidence wasn't reflected in the share price on Friday as it dipped slightly in early trading. But it does show just why the company’s share price has risen from less that £4 a share to over £8 in only the last 12 months.
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