Booming JD upgrades profits expectations again

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JD SPORTS Fashion has taken the unusual step of upgrading its profit expectations twice in as many months.

The Bury-based company, which has been one of the strongest performers on the high street over the last 12 months,  said its like-for-like sales in UK and European stores had rocketed 10.6% in the five weeks to January 2.

As a result, the board expects profits before exceptional items for the current financial year will exceed current consensus market expectations of £136m by up to 10%.

On December 3 the company told investors that it had been trading so well that results were “likely to exceed current consensus market expectations of £125m by £10m”.

Executive chairman Peter Cowgill hailed an “exceptional performance” during both the Christmas period and the year to date.

“This performance particularly reflects the increasing strength of the JD Fascia and our continuing commitment to delivering a unique and often exclusive sports and fashion premium brand offer which enthuses and excites both customers and suppliers. I would like to thank everybody involved in delivering this excellent performance.”

JD said it had decided to scrap a major project to replace its core IT systems, leading to a one-off exceptional cost of £12m.

The company explained: “This project was started when we believed that our current systems required changing to manage growth and change in the business.

“However, with a stronger IT team now in place, and significant developments having been introduced to our current systems, we have concluded that we can manage further growth and change with more agility and lower cost using our internally developed systems and thereby minimising the change risk to the business.”

The company, which has stores in Spain, France, Ireland and the Netherlands, will announce its full-year results for the 52 weeks to Janaury 30 on April 13.

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