JD Sports revenues grew by 8% to \u00a34.7bn in the 26 weeks to 29 July, as gross margins were \u201crobust\u201d at 48% and well above pre-pandemic levels due to a more normal promotional environment in H1.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe group said its profit before tax and adjusted items of \u00a3373.5m also reflected a more normal H1, as well as the retailer\u2019s investment in people, systems and supply chain.\r\n\r\nIn addition, its balance sheet net cash increased by \u00a3263.4m to \u00a31.2bn over the last 12 months.\u00a0\r\n\r\nJD Sports said it is also on track to add over 200 new stores globally by January 2024 and new distribution centres and a loyalty trial in the UK.\u00a0\r\n\r\nIn the last seven weeks, trading across the group has continued in line with its expectations, as organic sales grew by 10% at constant exchange rates.\u00a0\r\n\r\nDespite the tough macroeconomic environment for consumers across the world, JD Sports still expects profit before tax totalling \u00a31.04bn by the end of the financial year in February 2024.\r\n\r\nR\u00e9gis Schultz, CEO of JD Sports, said: "We have made good progress delivering on our strategic pillars, focusing on expanding the JD brand and we will open more than 200 JD stores worldwide in this financial period. We are going to accelerate JD brand growth in Europe through purchasing the non-controlling interest in both ISRG and MIG, and the acquisition of GAP stores in France.\u00a0\r\n\r\n"Our first half performance would not have been possible without the efforts of our people across the world and I am extremely grateful for their continued hard work and commitment. I would also like to thank outgoing CFO Neil Greenhalgh specifically for his support since I joined and for his years of service to JD. I look forward to working with Dominic Platt, who will start as our new CFO in October 2023.\u201d\r\n\r\nHe added: "Looking ahead, our core consumers remain resilient in the face of the ongoing global macroeconomic challenges. The JD brand continues to strengthen its global presence, supported by our strategic partnerships with much-loved brands and our strong balance sheet."