Total revenue at JD Sports Fashion plc increased by 47.4 percent in the first half period to 2,721.2 million pounds (3,360.7 million dollars) including 725.2 million pounds of revenue from Finish Line and JD in the United States. The company said, like for like store sales across its global group fascias, excluding Finish Line but including the more established businesses in Europe, Asia Pacific and Outdoor, increased by 7 percent with the overall like for like growth for the same fascias, including online, increasing by 10 percent.
Commenting on the first half trading, Peter Cowgill, the company’s Executive Chairman, said in a statement: “Against a backdrop of widely reported retail challenges in the UK, it is extremely encouraging that JD has delivered like for like sales growth of more than 10 percent with an improved conversion reflecting consumers’ increasingly positive reaction to our elevated multichannel proposition. We are pleased by the continued positive trends to date in the second half in Sports Fashion whilst recognising the tougher comparatives ahead.”
Total gross margin in the first half period of 46.9 percent was 1.3 percent lower than the prior year, while profit before tax and exceptional items increased by 30.1 percent to 158.6 million pounds (195.7 million dollars). The basic earnings per ordinary share decreased slightly to 9.67p from 10.05p last year, while the adjusted earnings per ordinary share increased by 25.1 percent to 12.57p from 10.05p in 2018.
The company added that notwithstanding the ongoing uncertainty with regards to Brexit, its board is confident that, without the impact from the transition to IFRS 16, the Group would have been on track to deliver headline profit before tax for the full year at the top end of market expectations which currently range from 402 million pounds to 424 million pounds. However, after adjusting for the impact of the transition to IFRS 16, the group believes that it would deliver results at the mid-point of expectations.
The JD Sports board proposes paying an interim dividend of 0.28p per ordinary share, an increase of 3.7 percent, on January 3, 2020 to shareholders on the register at November 29, 2019.