Sports Chain Is of F the Pace

Article excerpt

Byline: Graeme Evans

JD Sports owner John David Group has reported a ``disappointing'' financial performance after a major acquisition disrupted business.

Posting results for the 10 months to January 31 yesterday, the group said that integration of the First Sport chain, which it acquired from Blacks Leisure for pounds 53.2m last year, was taking longer than expected.

The results come after the group warned in January that it had seen slower-than-expected trading over the key Christmas period.

While direct comparisons are difficult because of a change in its financial year, pre-tax profits fell from pounds 20.1m in the year to March 31 to pounds 10.8m in the 10-month period.

That was despite a 34% rise in turnover to pounds 370.8m after the acquisition added 209 stores to the 166 existing JD Sports branches.

Sales in the JD Sports chain rose by 10% over the period, driven by the opening of 21 new stores, but like-for-like sales declined by 0.5% over the 10-month period after an increase of 0. …