JD Sports reports big jump in sales
JD Sports has reported a big jump in sales in the first half of the year, defying fears of a slowdown among sports fashion retailers.
Sales were £1.4bn in the six months to the end of July, up 41% compared with the same period last year.
Pre-tax profit rose 33% to a record £103m.
JD Sports' executive chairman, Peter Cowgill, credited the "continued strength" of the firm's core UK and Irish stores.
He also said the firm had expanded internationally and was selling more online.
The Manchester-based retailer has grown strongly over the past few years due to rising demand for fashionable sportswear, or so called "athleisure" goods.
However, a fall in like-for-like sales at rival Footlocker in August led some to warn the sector was slowing down.
Following the dip - the US retailer's first since 2008 - analysts at Quo Vadis Capital warned that "athleisure is over".
"We predict several years of pain for the companies that compete in this arena," they added.
In its results, JD Sports said that sales to date in the second half had continued "at similar levels".
It expects its full-year results to be towards the upper end of market expectations, in a range of £268m to £290m.