Sports Direct today said that its focus on developing a new generation of stores while improving its customer offering across all of its channels continued to be key to its strategy, as it reported rising sales but took a profits hit related to its stake in Debenhams.
The sports retailer reported group revenue of £3.6bn in the year to April 29, 3.5% up on the same time last year. In its domestic UK market, sales of £2.2bn were 2% down on last time, while European sales of £637.2m were 0.1% down. But sales grew faster in the rest of the world (£192.4m, +594%) and in its premium lifestyle business, which includes the Flannels, Cruise, and van mildert retail brands (£162.1m, +42.7%). Wholesale and licensing revenue of £186.3m was 22.7% down on last time.
Underlying pre-tax profits came in at £152.9m, 34.5% ahead of the previous year, but after writing down £85.4m in relation to its stake in Debenhams, bottom-line pre-tax profits of £77.5m were 72.5% down on last time.
Chief executive Mike Ashley said: “The high street has come under the spotlight over the course of the year due to the headwinds facing the sector. Due to the changing…