COVID-19: JD raises profit guidance by over £100m after strong online sales | Business News


JD Sports has forecast annual profits will be more than £100m above market expectations following a surge in online sales during continuing coronavirus restrictions.

The sportswear retailer said consumers “readily switched” from shuttered stores to its digital sales channels in the run-up to Christmas.

It reported a 5% lift in like-for-like revenues during the 22 weeks to 2 January compared to the same period last year.

As a result, JD said it expected headline profit before tax to be “significantly ahead” of market forecasts for the 12 months to 30 January, currently averaging £295m, with an out-turn of £400m now expected.

It said the performance was despite challenges posed by the forced closure of stores in many of its countries of operation, including the UK where sportswear is classed as non-essential retail.

The company, which includes the Blacks and Millets specialist outdoor stores, said: “Looking ahead, it is clear that operational restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic will also be a material factor through at least the first quarter of the year to 29 January 2022.

“Whilst we are confident that we have the proposition to continue to attract consumers throughout this period, the process to scale down activity in stores and scale up the digital channels, often at extremely short notice, presents significant challenges.

“We are indebted to all of our colleagues in our different territories who have had to adopt new ways of working.”

It forecast a leap of up to 10% in profitability for its next financial year on expectations the 12 months to 29 January 2022 will prove less disruptive thanks to the roll-out of coronavirus vaccines.

The updated guidance places JD within a limited number of retailers, with established digital sales channels, to ride out the pandemic in rude health to date.

A general view of a Tesco Extra store in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. Cambridgeshire Police officer Simon Read is facing charges of attempting to to buy a 9.95 box of 12 Krispy Kreme donuts for seven pence by sticking a barcode for carrots on them and going through a self-service checkout at the Tesco Extra store.
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Tesco reports on its sales progress during the pandemic later this week

Supermarkets, including Morrisons and Sainsbury’s, have also reported surging sales both online and in-store as they remain a crucial cog in keeping the nation fed during the crisis.

Shares rose 8% at the market open, meaning they had recovered all the value lost since pandemic panic swept global stock markets last February.



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