JD Sports has reported a 6.5% decrease in total revenue to £2.5bn during the half-year period ended 1 August 2020.
The decrease in revenue was split between sports fashion sales, which reduced by 4.6% to £2.4bn, and its outdoor range, which saw sales sink by 30.2% to £142.5m.
Additionally, total gross margin was 45.6%, 1.3% lower than the prior year. JD Sports said this primarily reflects the promotional activity in stores in the UK and Europe after re-opening to clear non-seasonally relevant products.
Profit before tax and exceptional items also decreased by £96.7m to £61.9m during the period, compared with £158.6m in 2019.
However, the profit before tax and exceptional items of the group’s businesses in the United States increased “significantly” to £73.4m, reflecting the “positive impact” of the temporary Government stimulus in the country.
Peter Cowgill, executive chairman, said: “Ultimately, given the unique circumstances of this trading period, we are reassured by the strength of the JD brand as demonstrated by the retention of more than 90% of the total revenues.
“However, it should be recognised that this has necessitated additional costs principally relating to the provision of enhanced health and safety measures, in all areas of the business, together with increased costs of online fulfilment, including performance marketing.”
He added: “Whilst these additional costs have impacted on the result for the period, the group has retained a significant level of profitability with a profit before tax and exceptional items of £61.9m (2019: £158.6m).
We are generally encouraged by our performance since the stores re-opened and with our performance in the first few weeks of the second half. However, retail footfall remains comparatively weak and the recent strengthening of measures in many countries and the subsequent temporary closure of some stores reminds us that Covid-19 remains an ongoing challenge.”