Currency woes hit Sports Direct profits as new finance boss steps in

Sports Direct’s underlying profits have nosedived by nearly 60% to £113.7m for the year-ending 30 April.

The Shirebrook company has put the poor performance down to “currency movements and increased depreciation charges”.

Mike Ashley, chief Executive, said: “Sports Direct is on course to become the Selfridges of sport by migrating to a new generation of stores to showcase the very best products from our third party brand partners. We have invested over £300m in property over the last year, and I am pleased to report that early indications show that trading in our new flagship stores is exceeding expectations.

“We will continue to invest and make decisions for the long term, whilst trying to conservatively manage the currency volatility that is reflected in our full year results. As previously announced, the devaluation of Sterling against the US dollar has led to a significant impact on EBITDA and profits in FY17. We have put in place hedging arrangements to minimise the short-term impact of currency volatility, but like many UK retailers we remain exposed to medium/long term currency fluctuations. Our results were also impacted by provisions and depreciation charges.”

“I would like to thank all our people at Sports Direct for ensuring that we continue to move forward together whilst elevating our retail proposition.”

Meanwhile, the firm of Jon Kempster as chief financial officer – a post which has been vacant for some time.

From July 2010 to November 2012 Kempster was group finance director at logistics and distribution group Wincanton.

Prior to Wincanton, he was group finance director of industrial group Delta. He has also worked in senior finance positions at Low & Bonar, Linden Homes and Fii Group.

Dr Keith Hellawell, chairman of Sports Direct, said: “We look forward to welcoming Jon to Sports Direct. His breadth of experience and proven track record will be a significant asset to the company.”

Kempster said: “I am really excited to be joining Sports Direct, and I look forward to working with Mike and the team.”