JD Sports cheered by rise in annual profits

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Sportswear and fashion retailer JD Sports today unveiled a 5 per cent rise in annual profits, helped by improved trading at its Blacks and Millets outdoor goods chains.

The group, which also owns the Bank and Size? fashion businesses, reported a pre-tax profit of £57.9 million for the year to 1 February, up from £55.1m a year earlier, as revenues grew 5.7 per cent to £1.3 billion.

Executive chairman Peter Cowgill said: “I am encouraged that the Blacks and Millets business achieved a significant improvement in the second half of the year and we expect continued progress in the new financial year.

“The group continues to be well positioned with its retail proposition, increased financial resources and extensive management experience to take advantage of opportunities both in the UK and internationally.”

The board proposed a final dividend of 22.65p a share, up 3 per cent on a year ago, lifting the total payout by the same margin to 27.1p.