Apr 17, 2013
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JD Sports year profit falls on Blacks loss

Apr 17, 2013

LONDON - British retailer JD Sport Fashion posted a 20 percent fall in full-year profit as operating losses from its Blacks Leisure acquisition weighed on the group.

JD, which sells clothing and footwear from brands including Nike and Adidas, on Wednesday said profit before tax and exceptional items for the year fell to 60.5 million pounds ($92.5 million) in the 53 weeks to February 2, in line with analyst forecasts.

Last year the firm paid 20 million pounds to bring outdoor clothing retailer Blacks Leisure out of administration and has been busy pulling the business into shape since.

JD said its outdoor stores posted an operating loss of 14.9 million pounds during the year, but a new management team had started to improve the unit's performance.

British retailers have been battling inflation, subdued wages growth and government austerity measures leading to tightened household budgets.

The company's core sports stores delivered like-for-like growth of 2.5 percent during the year and was up 1.9 percent in the 9 weeks to April 6, it said.

Group revenue rose 18.8 percent to 1.26 billion pounds.

"Whilst the board recognises that recent acquisition activity has impacted on short-term returns, it remains confident that the group is well positioned to deliver earnings growth and increased shareholder returns over the longer term," said executive chairman Peter Cowgill.

The company paid increased the total dividend by 4 percent to 26.30 pence a share.

Shares in the FTSE 250 listed group, which have fallen 7 percent in the last month, closed at 742 pence on Tuesday, valuing the business at 348 million pounds.

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