(Reuters) - British sportswear retailer JD Sports Fashion Plc (JD.L) said on Thursday it expected full-year headline profit before tax to beat market expectations on continued growth in comparable store sales, sending its shares to a record high.
The company said profit before tax and exceptional items will exceed the consensus market expectation of 200 million pounds by up to 15 percent in the financial year ending Jan. 28.
JD Sports, which also runs fashion and outdoor retail chains such as Scotts and Blacks, reported a 73 percent jump in first-half pretax profit to a record 77.4 million pounds.
JD Sports posted pretax profit of 157.1 million pounds for the previous financial year.
Shares rose as much as 8.75 percent to touch an all-time high of 353.9 pence before trading up 5.7 percent at 0824 GMT.
The company, which has been a British retail sector success story in recent years, said continued strong growth in its sports fashion brands helped maintain cumulative like-for-like store sales for the 49 weeks to Jan. 7 at 10 percent.
JD Sports has exploited the growing demand for sports branded shoes and clothes to overtake rival Sports Direct (SPD.L) as the country’s biggest sportswear retailer by market value, but both companies have come under fire over poor working conditions.
JD Sports Fashion said in December that it would review its employment policies.
Reporting by Rahul B in BENGALURU; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath