Losses widen again at JJB Sports

JJB Sports JJB has shut 41 of the 43 stores earmarked for closure

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Troubled sports retailer JJB Sports has reported widening losses and warned of critical trading periods to come.

Pre-tax losses for the six months to the end of July came in at £66.5m, compared with £24m last year.

JJB said that its performance over Christmas, the January sales and next year's Olympics and European football championships would be critical.

The Wigan-based retailer said conditions were worse than had been expected.

As part of its turnaround plan, 41 of the 43 stores earmarked for closure have now ceased trading.

Like-for-like sales, which measure sales in stores that have been open for more than a year, fell by 17.7%.

"Our results for the half year have been impacted by the closing of unprofitable stores and the sell-out of old and obsolete stock," said JJB chief executive Keith Jones.

"Despite the consumer environment being extremely challenging and expected to remain so for the foreseeable future, our re-sized store portfolio and other cost-saving initiatives have allowed us to manage the business and maintain tight financial controls."

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