Sports Direct sales jump during summer of sport

Sports Direct International

Last Updated at 16 Sep 2014, 11:36 ET *Chart shows local time Sports Direct International intraday chart
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Sports Direct has reported a big rise in sales, helped by what it said was the "unprecedented" sporting summer.

Retail sales at the 400-strong chain rose 19.9% to £441.4m in the 13 weeks to 29 July, while group total sales rose 25.3% to £519.0m.

The European football championship and run-up to the start of the Olympics on 27 July had boosted trade.

"Since the end of July trading has remained equally strong," Sports Direct said in a statement.

The company, which also owns Lillywhites stores as well as brands including Slazenger, Dunlop and Lonsdale, is controlled by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley.

Sports Direct's growth is in contrast to rival JJB Sports, which last week put itself up for sale and warned investors that their shares may be worthless.

Shares in Sports Direct have risen 46% this year, and were up more than 5% in morning trading on Wednesday.

Dave Forsey, Sports Direct chief executive, said: "During this unprecedented sporting summer our retail performance continues to go from strength to strength.

"Since the end of July trading has remained equally strong, especially within the UK Sports Retail division where sales have also been boosted by the tremendous performance of Team GB at the London Olympics."

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