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Jamie Hardesty

Member Article

Revenue up 6.5% for the expanding Sports Direct

Mike Ashley’s sports clothing retailer Sports Direct has revealed a 6.5% increase of revenue to £1,433 million from £1,345 million, as the company announced its interim results for the half year to October 26 2014.

It was also reported that net debt decreased in the period by 12.0% to £186.5 million (27 April 2014: £212.0 million).

The Group has continued its expansion in Europe, opening a further eight stores. The re-branding of stores in Austria to the Sportsdirect.com fascia continues and the company opened its first Sportsdirect.com store in the Baltics.

In the first half of the year the Group increased its investment in Debenhams with the purchase of an additional strategic stake in the business.

Sports Direct are currently trialling four concessions within Debenhams stores. The Group has also acquired interests in Tesco and the online retailer MySale during the period.

Moreover, the Group has now established Sportsdirect Fitness.com, following the acquisition of 18 former LA Fitness gyms. Building work on a new 20,000 sq. ft. dry gym and an adjoining 40,000 sq. ft. retail space in Aintree has commenced, which will be fully open by the end of 2014 and another two similar units in St Helens and Keighley are expected to be operational in early 2015.

Chief Executive of Sports Direct, Dave Forsey, said: “The results for the six months were solid considering the adverse impact on performance during the period of England’s early departure from the FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the unseasonably mild weather during Autumn reducing footfall.

“However, the continued growth in Group revenues and EBITDA is testament to the hard work of our colleagues and our continued focus on providing customers with exceptional quality and unbeatable value.

“We are delighted that their contribution will again be recognised under the 2011 Employee Bonus Share Scheme - 25% of which is expected to vest with eligible employees in September 2015.

“Trading since the period end has been in line with management expectations and while we retain the ability to invest in margin, inventory and Group marketing to deliver long-term sustainable growth, we remain confident of achieving at least our full year internal underlying EBITDA target of £360 million, before the charge for the Employee Bonus Share Schemes.”

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