JJB Sports warns of poor sales


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JJB Sports has warned that sales in recent weeks fell below expectations due to weak demand for replica football kits during the European Championships and poor weather.

This contributed to an 8% fall in sales, excluding store openings and closures, for the 22 weeks to 1 July.

JJB shares closed down 25% at 7.4 pence after the announcement.

The company is in the middle of a cost-cutting programme designed to stem losses that totalled £100m last year.

Earlier this year, it announced a £30m investment to help drive the business.

This included £20m from US retailer Dick's Sporting Goods and £10m from existing shareholders.

JJB said that group performance had "deteriorated" since the beginning of April.

"Expected peak in sales in connection with sales of replica football kits and associated products generated from consumer interest in the European Football Championships did not materialise to the extent anticipated," the company said.

"This sales performance has been further exacerbated by the poor early summer weather.

"Consequently sales have fallen materially short of expectations."

Analysts said the drop in sales was worrying given the number of sporting events taking place.

"Considering that this year is one of the most significant in the sporting calendar for a generation, JJB's numbers are extremely disappointing - all the more so as they demonstrate a marked deterioration in trading since the last update," said Neil Saunders from retail analysts Conlumino.

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