JD Sports full-year profit jumps 24% as worldwide expansion pays off

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Excluding this deal, which has yet to complete, JD Sports now has 1,237 stores worldwide, including 385 shops in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Headline profit before tax and exceptional items, meanwhile, reached a record GBP307.4m, surpassing JD's guidance posted at the start of the year for the figure to reach "about GBP300m".

It said like-for-like sales rose by 3% across all its stores and by 7% including online trading over the 53 weeks.

In its results for the year to 3rd February, it said: "In total, the group has invested a total of £24 million in the year on these expansionary developments at Kingsway with an estimated £30 million of spend, including further significant investment on automation equipment, required to complete the project to extend the site, the majority of which will be incurred in the new financial year".

This is the first set of results to include a full year of numbers from Go Outdoors, which JD Sports bought last year.

'After delivering a headline profit of £100m for the first time in the year to January 2015, the headline profit has increased by more than £200m over the subsequent three years, a rise in excess of 200%.

JD is also making its mark outside of its home United Kingdom market, adding 56 more stores to its European portfolio past year, and nine more in the Asia Pacific.

These strong financial results come on the back of a period of growth for the company, where it acquired United States retailer The Finish Line, and opened its first store in South Korea.

In addition, JD revealed last month it has inked an agreement to acquire U.S. athleticwear chain The Finish Line in a deal worth US$558m.

"Coming as it does at a moment when the big brands are thinking further about consolidating their retailer lists, such form is invaluable and we see the move to the U.S. as another logical step towards JD becoming a global brand".

The Bury-headquartered trainers-to-gym kit seller "remains confident in the robustness and global potential of the JD proposition" with management "excited by the major developments ahead".

"Because of the saturation in the United Kingdom (sportswear) market, the main focus would be overseas development", Executive Chairman Peter Cowgill said in an interview on Tuesday.

Fiona Paton, retail analyst at GlobalData, notes JD Sports brings relief to United Kingdom physical retail as one of only few mid-market retailers to report double-digit revenue and profit growth in 2017.

JD Sports has overtaken billionaire Mike Ashley's Sports Direct as Britain's leading sportswear retailer by market value.

Its presence overseas will increase once again this year thanks to its recent acquisition of USA athletic footwear and apparel retailer Finish Line Inc (NASDAQ:FINL) last month for US$558mln.