Sports Direct records 12% rise in sales

<p>Sports Direct has reported a boost in sales in its latest trading update.</p>

Sports Direct has reported a boost in sales and profits in its latest trading update.

The sports retailer, founded by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, announced a 12.2 per cent rise in group sales to £711.2 million for the 13 weeks ending July 27th, 2014. Gross profits were up by 11.8 per cent to £301.2 million but officials stated that the company was hurt by England's poor performance in the World Cup.

England's elimination in the group stages during the summer tournament had an impact on home soil with companies all over the country experiencing dips in predicted sales. Supermarkets and shops had stocked up on England-related paraphernalia prior to the competition but the early exit meant that lots of products remained unsold, resulting in a drop in revenue.

Sports Direct chief executive Dave Forsey explained that the sporting goods retailers was also affected by England's exit.

Mr Forsey said: "As we highlighted at our preliminary results in July, recent trading, including the period since July 27th, has been in line with management's expectations with some stronger weeks offset by England's disappointing World Cup performance."

Despite increasing sales and profits, Sport Direct's brand division revenue dropped by 7.1 per cent from £50.9 million to £47.3 million. It is now targeting further growth across Europe after recently acquiring Eybl and Sports Experts in Austria.

Owner Mr Ashley recently decided against a £200 million bonus which had caused controversy throughout the company. The scheme was initially given approval from shareholders but the Sports Direct founder performed a U-turn on taking his bonus. The collective £200 million bonus will still be shared out between management and employees in 2015.

Shares in Sports Direct opened 3.12 per cent down at 697.50 on Wednesday morning (September 10th).

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