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Sports Direct posts strong growth for February and March

In a pre-close trading update, retailer Sports Direct International posted a 14.3 per cent year-on-year rise in group total sales for the nine weeks ended March 31st.

In a pre-close trading update, retailer Sports Direct International posted a 14.3 per cent year-on-year rise in group total sales for the nine weeks ended March 31st.

This equated to sales worth £317.4m, up from £277.8m in the same period the previous year, while gross profit leapt 22.7% to £128.6m (2012: £104.8m).

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Dave Forsey, Chief Executive of Sports Direct International, said: "The strength of this performance during the nine week period continues to demonstrate the resilience of our business model, especially in the UK. Within our Sports division online sales now represent circa 15% of total Sports Retail sales.

"As we announced in the Interim Management Statement in February 2013, we are certain of reaching our 2013 full year targeted underlying EBITDA [earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation] of £270m (before the charge for the bonus share schemes)."

Divisionally, Sports Retail sales in the nine week period to the end of March increased 13.6% to £264.3m (2012: £232.6m) and Sports Retail gross profit increased 22.7% to £104.8m (2012: £85.4m).

Premium Lifestyle sales in the period were up 76.5% to £18.0m (2012: £10.2m) with gross profit increasing 42.0% to £7.1m (2012: £5.0m).

The Brands division revenue increased 0.3% to £35.1m (2012: £35.0m) while gross margin increased 16.0% to £16.7m (2012: £14.4m).

The group also said that as a result of all targets under its 2009 Employee Bonus Share Scheme having been met, around 2,000 eligible employees received 25% of their base salary in shares in August 2012 and will receive a further 75% of their base salary in shares in August of this year.

NR

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