JD Sports sees further ‘small’ price rises ahead as annual profits hit record

The chief executive of JD Sports Fashion has told Sky News he sees further price increases ahead following a year of record profits for the retailer.

The company, which has not been immune from the energy-led surge in costs linked to the war in Ukraine, reported profit before tax and exceptional items of £991.4m for the year to 28 January.

That was up from the £947.2m achieved in the previous financial year and driven by an 18% rise in revenue to £10.1bn.

Much of that increase can be explained from continuing expansion abroad.

JD, which trades from 3,400 stores in 32 countries and online, has proved resilient to the cost of living crisis.

The group’s relationships with Nike and Adidas have also given its clientele access to the latest trends.

It forecast that the trading profit measure would exceed £1bn for the first time in the current 2023/24 year as sales momentum had continued, with organic growth up 15% during the first 13 weeks.

CEO Régis Schultz told Ian King Live that JD planned price hikes this year of between 2% to 3% after increases of up to 10% last year

“The young adult doesn’t have a mortgage, doesn’t pay the energy bill,” he said while explaining JD’s performance.

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How much more do shoppers pay?

“The parents are paying it and they get a job.

“Yes, my pair of trainers costs perhaps £5 more than it was costing last year but last year, three years ago, they didn’t have a job so the difference is much higher than the £5 that they have to spend.”

Shares in the group have increased 30% so far this year, giving it a market value of £8.8bn.

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They were, however, up to 4% down on the day in response to the results and latest forecasts.

Mamta Valechha, equity research analyst at Quilter Cheviot, said of the decline: “At its current valuation we think the market continues to underestimate the strong proposition JD Sports holds in the attractive sportswear sector, and these results are testament to the quality of business it has become over the years.”