In the past month, JD Sports has released news including its final results for the year to 30 January. They were released on 13 April and showed a near-1% rise in revenue versus the previous year. Gross profit margin improved by one percentage point to 48%, although pre-tax profit declined from £348 million to £324 million as a result of higher depreciation and amortisation charges alongside higher exceptional items.
The company’s commentary included discussion of its expansion in the US. It reported an ‘exceptional’ trading performance from the Finish Line and JD fascias in the US that was driven by higher consumer demand prompted by US government stimulus action. It also converted a further 37 former Finish Line stores to JD, with a total of 49 stores trading under its name by the end of the year.
In Europe, JD Sports increased its presence by a net 31 stores during the year. Meanwhile, in the Asia Pacific region its store numbers rose by five on a net basis. Its Outdoor business returned to profitability in the second half of the year.
In terms of financial position, the company had a net cash balance of £795 million at the end of the year. This is stated before completed acquisitions for the year, with aggregate cash consideration paid of £380 million. Its net cash position is also stated before a reversal of temporary factors including tax deferrals and rent deferrals. In addition, it is at the high point of its working capital cycle.
JD Sports confirmed the resumption of dividend payments in its results release. It proposed a 1.44p per share shareholder payment that recognises the contribution made from its international operations, according to its update.
In addition to its final results, the company also announced in the past month that Andy Rubin has stepped down from his position as non-executive director with effect from 6 May. He will be replaced from the same date by Andy Long.
The JD Sports Fashion share price has risen by 66% over the past year. It is up 265% in the past five years. Over the same time periods the FTSE 100 index has gained 20% and 16%, respectively. The company’s shares currently trade at 920p at the time of writing. Its next update is expected to be on 1 July when it holds its AGM.
In other news, JD Sports Fashion is set to offload Sports Unlimited Retail for €16.5m to its 50% owned subsidiary Iberian Sports Retail Group (ISRG) based in Spain. The deal is expected to be completed at the end of June 2021.
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