Sep 8, 2020

US stimulus measures help drive sales recovery at JD Sports

JD Sports said US stimulus measures helped drive a strong recovery in sales, as the UK athleisure retailer reinstated profit forecasts for the year. Sales in reopened stores have been up about 20 per cent, the company said, but this figure was distorted by an exceptional performance in the US, where the group operates mostly through Finish Line stores. At £834m, US sales were higher in the the six months to August 1 than in the same period last year, which the company attributed to "Significant, but temporary, fiscal stimulus made available by the US government which has now come to an end". Group sales were £2.54bn against £2.72bn in the same period last year, while pre-tax profit before exceptional items was £61.9m, down from £159m. There was no interim dividend, as expected. JD Sports shares, among the best performers in the retail sector in recent years, have risen more than 50 per cent from their March nadir and climbed another 7 per cent in early trading on Tuesday.

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