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JD Sports’ January sales fall in ‘challenging’ market

JD Sports’ January sales fall in ‘challenging’ market

LONDON (Reuters) -British sportswear retailer JD Sports said trading conditions remained challenging after its like-for-like sales dropped in January, resulting in fourth-quarter growth of just 0.1%.

The retailer, which sells Nike, Adidas and other sports fashion ranges, said its pretax profit for the year to Feb. 4 would meet guidance it downgraded in January, in the range 915-935 million pounds.

Chief Executive Regis Schultz said in a statement on Thursday that the current trading environment “remained challenging due to less product innovation and elevated promotional activity, especially online”.

Like-for-like sales in Britain and Ireland fell 3.2% in the fourth quarter, a drop it blamed on a higher proportion of clothing sales in its mix than in other regions and a decision not to discount as much as some online rivals.

It said clothing sales were weaker than footwear.

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Nike, one of JD Sport’s biggest brands, warned last week of lower sales in its first half as it battles newer brands.

JD Sports said trading since its year-end had been in line with its expectations, and its initial guidance for pretax profit for the year ahead was between 900 million and 980 million pounds.

Shares in the group have fallen 30% in the year to date.

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru and Paul Sandle in London; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Sarah Young)


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