Financial News

  • 14 December 2012, 8:36

Sports Direct's Profit Shoots Up 24%

Sports Direct has said Great Britain's success at the Olympics and Paralympics helped drive up its first-half profit.

Pre-tax profit at Britain's largest sporting goods retailer was up 24.8% to 125.2m in the six months to October 28.

As a result, it said it would increase its underlying profit targets from 290m to 310m in 2014, and 340m to 360m the following year.

The company also said it was pushing ahead with plans to introduce a bonus scheme for its founder, Mike Ashley, who owns Newcastle United football club.

The Sports Direct board said it "remains committed to implementing a scheme to recognise the ongoing substantial and essential contribution of Mike Ashley".

The news comes after it withdrew a similar proposal earlier this year following shareholder opposition.

The company already has a lucrative bonus scheme in place for other staff, which it credits for a highly-motivated workforce.

Mr Ashley opened his first sports store in Maidenhead in 1982, and his chain has gone on to become one of the high street's biggest success stories of recent years.

The group now owns about 400 stores in the UK, as well as SportsDirect.com, Lillywhites, and brands including Slazenger, Karrimor and Firetrap.

In October, Sports Direct bought 20 stores and almost all of the stock of collapsed rival JJB Sports.

The company's chief executive Dave Forsey said: "The first half has been another record period for Sports Direct with the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics playing a significant part in the group's strong results.

"There is no doubt that Team GB's outstanding performance has helped increase the awareness and popularity of sport across the UK, and that we have maintained our position as the consumers' champion."

He added that Sport Direct is on track to meet its full year targets for 2012.

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