Sports Direct

Ticker SPD

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Market closed
% change
Price Pence
As of 20:22 13 Dec 2018
Market cap. Pound sterling
1,264.03 million
As of 20:22 13 Dec 2018

Latest updates

BreakingSports Direct issues clarification

Mike Ashley's warning earlier today that trading at Sports Direct was pretty dire in November sent investors running for cover. Shares in the sports retailer are down almost 15%.

That has prompted the company, which bought House of Fraser this year, to push out an urgent clarification:

"At the Interim Results Presentation held at Academy House today, in response to a question concerning current trading in our sports retail business Chief Executive Mike Ashley stated that November's trading was unbelievably bad.

"The Company wishes to confirm, however, that we have taken November's trading into account, and we reiterate Mike Ashley's statement included in the Interim Results announced earlier today: "Excluding House of Fraser we anticipate we will be within our previously communicated underlying EBITDA growth range of 5-15% by year end, and including House of Fraser we expect to be behind last year's result."

Sports Direct shares remain sharply down

Mike Ashley

Sports Direct's clarification over its tougher trading environment hasn't done much to lift the share price.

This morning boss Mike Ashley (above) said November trading had been dire, sparking a sharp share price fall.

An urgent statement this afternoon tried to calm nerves, with Sports Direct saying that trading - excluding its new House of Fraser acquisition - would be within previous guidance given to investors.

But the shares still languish close to 15% down.

BreakingHouse of Fraser revival 'challenging'

Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley has said his firm faces "significant challenges" in turning around the House of Fraser store chain, which it bought in August.

Mr Ashley said he believed that its previous management team "traded the business whilst it was insolvent for a long time".

However, he repeated his intention to turn House of Fraser, which currently has branches in Middlesbrough, Carlisle, Darlington and Gateshead's Metro Centre, into "the Harrods of the High Street".

The Newcastle United owner was speaking as he unveiled Sports Direct's half-yearly results.

In the 26 weeks to 28 October, it saw a 62% rise in pre-tax profits year-on-year to £74.4m.

However, underlying profits saw a 27% slump to £64.4m, reflecting the costs of acquiring House of Fraser.

House of Fraser
Getty Images

"Outside of the House of Fraser acquisition, the Sports Direct Group has had another successful period," said Mr Ashley.

He added that excluding the department store chain, Sports Direct expected to be within its forecast for growth of between 5% to 15% by the end of the financial year.

"Including House of Fraser, we expect to be behind last year's result."

Lord of all he surveys

Mike Ashley's businesses

As we've already flagged, Mike Ashley, the billionaire founder and chief executive of Sports Direct, will be appearing in front of the cross-party Housing, Communities and Local Government committee at 3.30pm to talk about the future of the High Street.

He owns an enormous share of the High Street - including House of Fraser, luxury lingerie chain Agent Provocateur, Evan Cycles, as well as a 29% stake in Debenhams.

Business Live will be covering his appearance so stay with us.

Mike Ashley: What we know about the Sports Direct boss
What do we know about Mike Ashley, the billionaire boss and founder of Sports Direct?