JD Sports has posted a pre-tax profit of £421.3m, before exceptional items, in its financial results for the year to 30 January 2021.
While this represents a drop in pre-tax profit from the previous year, down from £438.8m, the sports retailer confirmed it has “retained substantially all of its record profitability” in 2020, despite lockdown restrictions hindering in-person retail.
The group’s sales exceeded the previous year, coming to £6.17bn, with its UK division retaining roughly 70% of revenues after moving online during the first lockdown last spring.
During the period, JD Sports launched its first flagship store in New York, converted 37 former Finish Line stores into JD outlets and acquired California-based Shoe Palace over the past year.
Whilst the group said it recognises the “substantial” level of temporary store closures to date and ongoing, it remains confident that it is well placed to “benefit from the opportunities that prevail”.
Looking ahead, its current best estimate is that the group headline profit before tax for the full year to 29 January 2022 will be in the range of £475m to £500m.
Peter Cowgill, JD Sports’ executive chairman, said: “The global Covid-19 pandemic and, more recently, the UK’s formal exit from the European Union have presented a series of unprecedented challenges which have severely tested all aspects of our business including our multichannel capabilities, the robustness of our operational infrastructure and the resilience of our colleagues. However, at all times, the group has strived to do the right thing for all stakeholders.
“Our positive outlook is reflected by the fact that, even with the unique circumstances of store closures for a substantial period of the year, the group has retained substantially all of its record profitability from the prior year with a profit before tax and exceptional items of £421.3m (2020: £438.8m).”
He added: “Our recent completed acquisitions of Shoe Palace and DTLR in the United States together with the conditional acquisition of Sizeer in Central and Eastern Europe are important steps in our evolution which will transform our consumer connection in these markets and further develop our key brand relationships.”