September 12, 2017 / 6:49 AM / 10 months ago

JD Sports reports record first half profit helped by expansion

(Reuters) - Britain’s JD Sports Fashion Plc reported a record half-year pretax profit on Tuesday on demand for athletic leisure clothing and the opening of 35 new stores, sending its shares sharply higher.

People pass a JD Sports store in London, Britain April 11, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

Strong trading in the half-year helped the seller of trainers and tracksuits predict full-year profit towards the upper end of market expectations of 268-290 million pounds.

JD Sports, which also runs fashion and outdoor retail outlets such as Scotts and Blacks, said profit before tax for the 26 weeks to July 29 rose 33 percent to 102.7 million pounds from 77.4 million a year earlier.

Revenue from its sports fashion business, made up of brands such as JD , Size? and Sprinter, rose more than 30 percent to 1.17 billion pounds.

It opened 12 JD stores in UK and Ireland and 23 across mainland Europe in the first half.

JD shares jumped 10 percent to 376 pence in early trade.

JD, which sells from more than 1300 stores, has overtaken Sports Direct as the country’s leading sportswear retailer by market value.

It opened 12 JD stores in UK and Ireland and 23 across mainland Europe in the first half.

Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely

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