A sales surge on the back of a British summer of sporting highlights has helped Sports Direct announce a buoyant interim report and puts founder, Mike Ashley, in line for a £25M bonus.
Dave Forsey, chief executive said: "During this unprecedented sporting summer our Retail performance continues to go from strength to strength. As we outlined earlier this year, our unrivalled depth and breadth of product combined with the continued investment in lowering prices to our customers is underpinning this performance.
"Since the end of July trading has remained equally strong, especially within the UK Sports Retail division where sales have also been boosted by the tremendous performance of Team GB at the London Olympics.
"The Board therefore continues to target our 2013 "super stretch" underlying EBITDA objective of £270m (before the charge for the bonus share schemes)."
The company’s interim management statement for the period 30 April to 4 September stated:
Current Trading Update
Group total sales for the 13 weeks ending 29 July 2012 were up 25.3% to £519.0M (2012: £414.3M) and gross profit increased 20.4% to £211.1M (2012: £175.4M).
Sports Retail sales in the 13 week period increased 19.9% to £441.4M (2012: £368.2M), and Sports Retail gross profit increased 14.8% to £179.2M (2012: £156.1M).
Premium Lifestyle sales in the period were £28.8M (2012: £3.8M) with gross profit of £12.1M (2012: £1.4M). The prior year comparative is for the period from acquisition on 8 July 2011 to 25 July 2011.
The Brands division revenue increased by 15.4% to £48.8M (2012: £42.3M), and the corresponding gross profit increased by 10.6% to £19.8M (2012: £17.9M). This includes Firetrap wholesale sales of £4.0M (2012: nil) and gross profit of £1.4M (2012: nil).
During this period, UK Sports Retail has opened eight and closed three core stores. We also opened three and closed four non-core stores. European Sports Retail opened nine stores; four in Belgium, two in Hungary, one in Slovenia, one in Portugal and one in France. One store in Cyprus and one store in Belgium were closed. We have also opened a store in Iceland with a joint venture partner.
The Company will report its interim results on Thursday 13 December 2012.