John David Sports PLC
12 September 2002
12th September 2002
JOHN DAVID SPORTS PLC ('JD Sports', the 'Company')
AGM TRADING STATEMENT
At today's Annual General Meeting of the Company, John Wardle, Chairman, made
the following comments:-
In the preliminary announcement made on 20th June 2002, I reported that JD
Sports was continuing to make good progress against strong like for like sales
comparatives and had maintained gross profit margins since the March year end.
I also reported that the integration of the Sport & Fashion division acquired
from Blacks Leisure Group Plc in May 2002 (which includes the First Sport,
Active Venture and Pure Woman fascias) was progressing well and proceeding to
JD Sports has maintained its progress since the preliminary results in June.
Against continuing strong comparatives, total sales have increased by 11.2% in
the 23 weeks since the year end, including an underlying like for like sales
growth of 1.4%. Furthermore, gross margins have been maintained in the same
period and stock levels are in line with forecast. This is despite high levels
of discounting prevalent in the high street, due, in the main, to poor summer
The expansion plans of JD Sports have continued, and in the period since the
year end in March, six new stores have been opened and two stores closed
(including one relocation), increasing retail space by 21,000 sq.ft. JD Sports
currently trades, therefore, from 168 stores occupying 671,000 retail sq.ft.
Further retail space and store growth will be achieved in the remainder of the
year, with contracts currently exchanged on a further six stores. This should
add an additional 51,000 sq.ft. of selling space.
SPORT & FASHION DIVISION
The Sport & Fashion division of Blacks Leisure Group Plc was acquired in May
2002, comprising 209 stores occupying 495,000 retail sq.ft. at that time.
Total sales in the 15 weeks since the acquisition of the division on 21st May
2002 have increased by 3.2% and like for like sales by 2.2%. Gross margins, as
planned, have been at a lower level in order to clear certain stock lines in
readiness for the Christmas trading period. Current stock levels in the Sport &
Fashion division are also in line with forecast.
Since the acquisition two new stores have been opened and two stores have now
been closed. The division now trades from 209 stores occupying 502,000 retail
sq.ft.. One further store, which had been contracted prior to the acquisition,
is scheduled to open in the current year. The store portfolio continues to be
under review as sales densities increase towards their expected future levels;
integration is progressing well and our retail disciplines and high standards of
merchandising and display continue to be introduced throughout the chain.
In common with the majority of retailers, the Board acknowledges the importance
of the key Christmas trading period on the overall result for the year. The
Board remains confident, however, that the benefits arising from integration of
the Sport & Fashion division, together with our maintained focus on our brand
conscious consumer and differentiated offer, will continue to contribute to the
future success of the John David Sports Group. We look forward to a satisfactory
outcome for the Group for the remainder of the year.
CHANGE OF COMPANY NAME AND CHANGE OF YEAR END
A resolution is to be put to the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting to
change the name of John David Sports Plc to The John David Group Plc. This name
change follows our recent acquisition of the Sport & Fashion Division from
Blacks Leisure Group in May of this year. In addition, the Board intends to
change the Company's accounting year end to 31st January. Previously JD Sports
had a year end of 31st March and the Sport & Fashion division had a year end of
28th February. As the year ends of all companies within the Group need to be
coterminous, a year end of 31st January is felt more appropriate, in common with
many other retailers.
For further information, please contact:
John David Sports Plc Tel: 01706 628000
Barry Bown, Chief Executive
Malcolm Blackhurst, Finance Director
Hogarth Partnership Limited Tel: 020 7357 9477
This information is provided by RNS
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