Sports Direct profit up 15.7% despite World Cup woes

Sports Direct chief Mike Ashley. Picture: PA
Sports Direct chief Mike Ashley. Picture: PA
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Sportswear retailer Sports Direct has overcome England’s early departure from the World Cup to deliver a 15.7 per cent jump in annual profits.

The chain, controlled by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, also said about 2,000 staff are in line for a slice of bonus share awards totalling about £36.7 million after the group hit its earnings targets.

Underlying profits came in at £383.2m for the year to 26 April, up from £331.1 a year earlier.

Revenues grew 4.7 per cent to £2.8 billion, despite footfall being hit by the unseasonably mild autumn weather.

Chief executive Dave Forsey said: “Trading since the period end has been in line with management expectations and will continue to be driven by improvements in product range and availability, optimisation of both our in-store and web offerings, the introduction of click and collect in the UK and further investment in our store portfolio.”