JD Sports has estimated profits this year will exceed pre-Covid levels, as the chain’s chairman cheered the positive response to reopened stores.
Peter Cowgill said the shopper response yesterday as the lockdown eased for non-essential retailers was “at the upper end of expectations” in terms of sales and footfall.
There were queues outside a number of JD Sports stores across the capital on Monday, including the Oxford Street flagship. The chairman added that he is a “great believer” in the combination of online and bricks and mortar stores, and thinks “it is a great recipe for our success in the future”.
The comments came as JD Sports estimated profits this year will exceed pre-Covid levels,.
The FTSE 100 sportswear retailer had to close shops for 23 weeks in the UK for lockdowns in the year to January 30, but it saw customers readily switch to online.
Sales were slightly up at £6.2 billion, but pretax profit declined to £324 million from £348.5 million.
However, Cowgill pointed to improved figures for the current financial year.
He said: “ Whilst we must recognise the substantial level of temporary store closures to date and ongoing, we remain confident that we are well placed to benefit from the opportunities that prevail and, at this early stage, our current best estimate is that the group headline profit before tax for the full year to 29 January 2022 will be in the range of £475 million to £500 million."
JD Sports will benefit from having shops open again and having a larger international presence thanks to recent acquisitions.
The shares gained 22.2p to 935.8p.