Sports Direct profits rise after Olympics boost

Sports Direct store
Image caption Sports Direct has continued to expand, buying up 20 former JJB Sports stores

Sports Direct has reported a 25% rise in profits, saying it enjoyed a "significant" sales boost from the Olympics and Paralympics.

The retail chain made a pre-tax profit of £125m in the six months to 28 October, a new high for the company and up from £100m a year earlier.

Sport Direct's revenues for the period rose 23% to £1.09bn.

Dave Forsey, chief executive, said the success of Team GB had "helped increase the awareness and popularity of sport".

The shares, however, fell sharply, closing down 5.6% at 386p.

At the start of October, Sports Direct bought 20 stores, and all stock, from the administrators of one-time rival JJB Sports.

Sports Direct, which now has 398 UK outlets, said it was on target to meet its full-year financial targets.

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

Freddie George, a retail analyst at Seymour Pierce stockbrokers, said: "The company should benefit from recent acquisitions, capacity coming out of the market and a major opportunity to develop internet sales."

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