JJB Sports losses treble to £68.5m

Image caption,
JJB says it still has a lot of work to do to improve the business

Losses more than trebled at JJB Sports last year as the retailer endured the most difficult year in its history.

JJB reported a pre-tax loss of £68.5m for the 53 weeks to 31 January 2010, compared with a loss of £21.8m for the 52 weeks to 25 January 2009.

But the firm said that the World Cup would provide a "particularly significant opportunity" in 2010.

JJB came close to going into administration last year as it struggled with high levels of debt.

However, a successful £100m rights issue in October allowed the retailer to pay off its debts.

"The year under review was the most difficult in the history of JJB Sports, when the business faced a fight for survival," said JJB chief executive Keith Jones.

"We cannot pretend that the company's recovery will be either quick or easy. There is an enormous amount of work to be done to introduce modern retail standards and disciplines into the business."

He noted though that the early signs were encouraging.

The firm said that last year's figures had been adjusted to take into account the discontinued operations arising from the sale of fitness clubs to former owner Dave Whelan in March 2009.

Meanwhile, in a survey by the consumer organisation Which?, JJB was ranked joint 95th in a list of the top 100 UK retailers.

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