Shoppers flocked to the Sports Direct app in the closing stages of the World Cup, says the retailer
Shoppers flocked to the Sports Direct app in the closing stages of the World Cup, says the retailer

Sharelines

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…