Sports Direct still seeing Olympics boost in Q2

Sportswear and accessories retailer Sports Direct continued to receive an Olympics-related boost in the second quarter, though growth had slowed down from the impressive first three months of the fiscal year.

Sportswear and accessories retailer Sports Direct continued to receive an Olympics-related boost in the second quarter, though growth had slowed down from the impressive first three months of the fiscal year.

Group total sales in the nine weeks to September 30th totalled £402.7m, up 18.0% on the £341.3m reported in the same period the year before.

While this was down from the 25.3% revenue growth seen in the first quarter (13 weeks to July 29th), it was still well above the 13.0% increase experienced for the full year to April 29th.

Sports Retail sales rose 16.8% in the nine-week period, Premium Lifestyle revenues jumped 43.0% while the Brands division delivered 18.9% growth.

Chief Executive Dave Forsey said: "The group has continued to deliver strong growth through the second quarter, especially within the UK Sports Retail division where sales and margins benefited from the London Olympics and an excellent 'back to school' period."

Despite the slowdown in sales growth, gross profit during the period rose 21.7% from £137.6m to £167.4m, better than the 20.4% increase seen in the preceding quarter.

"Since the end of September trading has remained equally strong and the board is therefore confident of reaching the full-year targeted 'super stretch' underlying EBITDA [earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation] of £270m (before the charge for the bonus share schemes)," Forsey said.

Shares have risen sharply in the last few months: they were trading at 404p on Tuesday and close to the 52-week high, compared with the 300p level seen before the company's first-quarter results were released at the start of September.

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