JD Sports suffers sales downturn
The Bury-based retailer said since mid-September a marked decline in consumer confidence has hit the business and warned a tough Christmas was coming.
JD Sports has outperformed its rival JJB Sports, which reported a £66 million loss at the half year stage, but the wider retail sector has come under pressure amid rising prices, muted wage growth and low confidence.
Shares in JD Sports fell nearly 8% following the update.
David Jeary, an analyst at brokers Investec, maintained his forecast for full year pre-tax profits at £72 million, which would represent a 13% drop on the previous year.
Mr Jeary said: "Falling consumer confidence and pressure on discretionary incomes is not a winning combination for most retailers."
He added: "While current trading conditions are undoubtedly challenging, JD's conservative management style, strong roster of brands and international growth opportunities offer more significant longer-term potential."
The company reported a 1.6% decline in its sports stores, which include JD Sports and Size?, and a 0.9% decline in its 124 fashion stores, which include the Bank and Scotts chains.
JD Sports said it was experiencing "adverse pressure" on its profit margins but was working hard to maintain them and reassured that it had a "good track record" for making the most of the key festive season.
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