JD Sports hurt by rivals’ discounts and lack of new products | City & Business | Finance

JD Sports blames higher than normal levels of discounting and tough comparisons with last year for its fourth quarter sales growth falling to just 0.1%.

At its fourth quarter trading update, JD said that growth of 8.3% for the three months to February 3rd in Asia Pacific and 2.1% in North America more than offset a 3.2% decline in its core UK are Ireland business.

JD said that its January sales in particular were down year-on-year due to “elevated promotional activity in the market”, particularly online. At the same time, its performance suffered in comparison to the 25% growth it saw for the same period last year. It also blamed a lack of new products and designs for its flat sales.

For its 2023/24 financial year, JD had revenues of £10.5billion and chief executive Regis Schultz said that it expects to report profits of up to £935million at its annual results in May. He said that overall, JD had a good 2023/24 and had outperformed a “challenging market”.

He predicted that events like the European football championships and the Olympics, as well as new releases from the likes of Nike will help drive an improvement in sales.

“We anticipate that trading conditions will improve as we move through the year, helped by a busy sporting summer, softer comparatives with last year from Q2 and an improving product pipeline towards the end of the year,” Schutlz said.

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