Sports Direct reports "difficult" trading


Sports Direct reports
Sports Direct has said the first three months of the current financial year have been "exceptionally difficult" due in part to the "unprecedented" weather conditions.

The retailer posted an underlying profit before tax of £151 million in its preliminary results for the 52-week period up to April 29th.

It said it had achieved operating profit across all divisions and was continuing to roll-out new stores, but the tough trading was having an "immediate impact on sales", according to chief executive Dave Forsey.

However, the company's share price was down in morning trading today from 178 pence to 147 pence.

Its 52-week high of 301 pence has fallen sharply over the past months, with only a momentary rise in mid-April bucking the trend slightly.

But despite this lack of confidence among investors, Mr Forsey said the company still expected earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to increase during the rest of the year.

He added: "Due to the underlying strength of the business and its model, the Board believes there should be limited growth in EBITDA pre-exceptionals from the £191m reported today in the current financial year."

Sports Direct operates 462 stores around the world, of which 414 are situated in the UK with 33 in Belgium, 11 in Slovenia and four in Holland.

The company has also acquired a number of sports and leisure brands including Dunlop, Kangol, Lonsdale and Slazenger.

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