John David Group (The) PLC
15 July 2004
15 July 2004
THE JOHN DAVID GROUP PLC
AGM TRADING UPDATE
At the AGM being held at 1pm today, The John David Group PLC (the 'Group'), a
leading retailer of fashionable branded sportswear and fashion apparel, will
provide the following trading update to shareholders:
On 11 May 2004 in the Preliminary Announcement of the Group's results for the
year ended 31 January 2004, we reported overall like for like sales growth of
0.9% for the thirteen weeks ended 1 May 2004 and also that the growth in the
core Sports Fascia was 2.5%. We are pleased to say that this trend has continued
with the respective figures for the twenty three weeks ended 10 July 2004 being
0.9% and 2.6%.
Overall margins have continued to be on plan despite the impact of clearance
activity in the Fashion Fascias which continue to trade disappointingly as a
result of stock buying decisions made in 2003. We are focussed on addressing the
long term profitability of the Fashion Fascias (which represent less than 10% of
the Group's turnover) but this requires short term pain as stocks are cleansed.
Our continued stronger performance in the Sports Fascias means that the Group's
performance is in line with current market expectations and stocks are being
maintained below last year's levels.
During the twenty three weeks ended 10 July 2004 we have opened 6 stores and
closed 12 stores including four clearance stores with negligible change in
overall selling space. We do not expect new store openings to be more than 12 in
the current year but we are continuing to dispose of poor performing stores
wherever it is economically beneficial for us to do so.
Last week we announced that John Wardle, one of our founding shareholders and a
non-executive Director, had sold an 11.5% stake in the Company to a subsidiary
of Pentland Group plc ('Pentland'), who are a supplier to the Group. The Board
believes that this is a strategic investment and Pentland is not in any way
influencing the Group's procurement policy and no discussions have taken place
over Board representation. We are continuing to seek to recruit a senior
independent non-executive director and expect to make a further update on this
no later than the announcement of our Interim Results in early October. We also
intend to announce the conclusions of the Board's Strategic Review at this time.
In summary, there is still a lot to do but our turnaround plan is progressing.
The continuing elimination of poor performing stores and the rationalisation of
Fashion stocks remain fundamental to the Board's plan. The Christmas trading
period will as always be crucial to the final result for the year but we believe
that the foundations are in place for a more successful trading future.
The John David Group Plc Tel: 0161 767 1000
Peter Cowgill, Executive Chairman
Barry Bown, Chief Executive
Brian Small, Finance Director
Hogarth Partnership Limited Tel: 020 7357 9477
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange