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John David Group (JD.)

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Thursday 14 October, 2004

John David Group

Interim Results

John David Group (The) PLC
14 October 2004


14th October 2004

                            THE JOHN DAVID GROUP PLC
                                INTERIM RESULTS
                       FOR THE SIX MONTHS TO 31 JULY 2004


The John David Group Plc (the 'Company' or the 'Group'), a leading specialist
retailer of fashionable branded sports and leisure wear, today announces its
interim results for the six months ended 31 July 2004.

   • Group turnover increased to £212.1 million (six month period ended 31
     July 2003: £209.7 million)
   • Group operating profit (before goodwill amortisation, exceptional items
     and loss on disposal of fixed assets) of £2.2 million and of £0.1million
     after net interest charges (six month period ended 31 July 2003: Loss of
     £1.5 million and £3.8 million after net interest charges)
   • Exceptional costs of £4.7 million incurred in arriving at operating
     loss, primarily due to accelerated store closure programme (six month period
     ended 31 July 2003: £1.1 million)
   • Operating loss before interest charges and loss on disposal of fixed
     assets of £2.9 million (six month period ended 31 July 2003: £3.0 million)
   • Interim dividend of 2.20p per ordinary share (2003: 2.86p) following
     review of dividend policy to reflect the fact that profits are largely
     earned in the second half
   • Gross margin improvement to 46.0% (six month period ended 31 July 2003:
     45.6%)
   • Group like for like sales increase of 1.5%
   • Like for like sales increase of 2.8% in core Sports Fascias
   • Debt reduced by £6.7m to £45.4 million (31 July 2003: £52.1 million)
   • Stocks reduced by £6.5 million to £72.1 million (31 July 2003: £78.6
     million)
   • Group like for like sales in the two months to 2 October 2004 up by 7%
     against weak comparatives

Peter Cowgill, Executive Chairman, said: 'I am pleased to report that the Group,
and particularly its Sports Fascias, have traded better in the first half of the
current year than they did in the corresponding period last year.

'My Strategic Review has highlighted a number of areas for operational
improvement and we have moved quickly to implement the most urgent findings. In
particular, we have accelerated the store closure programme and have taken a
more aggressive approach to aged stock. These actions impact short term
financial results adversely, but we are confident that the benefits of this
decisive action will become evident in the medium term.

'Trading has continued to be satisfactory since 31 July 2004 with Group like for
like sales in the two months to 2 October 2004 up by 7% against weak
comparatives. The Board believes considerable progress has been made in the last
6 months towards restoring the Group's fortunes.'

Enquiries:

The John David Group Plc                                 0161 767 1000
Peter Cowgill (Executive Chairman)
Barry Bown (Chief Executive)
Brian Small (Finance Director)

Hogarth Partnership Limited                              020 7357 9477
Andrew Jaques
Barnaby Fry


CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT

Introduction

I am pleased to report that the Group, and particularly its Sports Fascias, have
traded better in the first half of the current year than they did in the
corresponding period last year.

Before detailing our financial results, I would like to share with you the
findings of the Strategic Review I have carried out since rejoining the Group in
March 2004.

Strategic Review

The core of our business remains the Sports Fascias and they are positioned to
sell sports footwear and apparel in a fashion oriented way alongside
supplementary branded and own brand casual fashion. I have no doubt that this
positioning remains a substantial strength and will continue to be supported
vigorously by our trading partners. In addition to JD Sports and a diminishing
number of First Sport stores, the Size fascia is now included in Sports as it
predominantly retails Sports derived footwear with a fashion edge.

We have had too many underperforming stores since the First Sport acquisition.
The biggest change I have made in this area has been to accelerate significantly
the pace of closure of these stores. The net costs of this programme in the six
months to 31 July 2004, together with store fit write offs for the anticipated
closures, are disclosed as exceptional operating costs or losses on disposal in
the first half results.

I have also encouraged a more aggressive approach towards sell through of aged
stock. Whilst in the short term this impacts on margin, I am confident that it
will benefit future margin and cashflow, and will also improve the merchandising
support for faster selling lines. I am seeking to improve cohesion between
buyers and merchandisers and, with the support of the major brands, improve
distribution efficiencies to retail outlets.

I am improving store appraisal techniques as I note that certain larger stores
in low footfall areas may be inefficient with regard to certain operating
ratios. We are considering options to improve income derived from such
locations. We will also continue to extend our support for brands which have no
other sports retailer distribution and emphasise our exclusive ranges and own
brand products. Subject to the requirement to rationalise the store portfolio, I
am confident that the market positioning of Sports Fascias and the variation
within its product offering will continue to support the success of the JD brand
in particular and the continued profitability of the Group.

As anticipated, the performance of the Fashion Fascias has been disappointing.
The Fashion Fascias are ATH, a diminishing number of Active Ventures and the two
Open fashion department stores in Liverpool and Glasgow. The main fascia, ATH,
has suffered from a lack of consistency in its image and brand offer as well as
an inherited stock buy which was poor in selection and quantum. The margin
impact of this is being borne in the current year. Substantial changes have been
made to the buying team in the last six months. Obtaining the right brand and
product offer has been and remains the major priority. With the first results of
this process coming through, and the benefit of the closures of lossmaking
stores being felt in full in the next year, I am anticipating improved results
from these Fascias. There will, however, be no material expansion of these
Fascias until the results are more encouraging.

In the Group as a whole, I am introducing a far more structured approach to
accountability with an increased number of profit centres and cost centres, and
enhanced incentivisation for improved performance. I have also reduced the
number of clearance shops as I wish to use marginal space for clearance wherever
possible rather than incurring added fixed overhead.

The Group remains well supported by its major brands who have a vested interest
in the positioning of Sports Fashion away from the value market.

Store Portfolio

The store portfolio has changed as follows in the first six months:

                                                     Stores      Sq Ft ('000s)

Sports Fascias including Size At 31 January 2004        320              1,106

                              At 31 July 2004           309              1,086

Fashion Fascias               At 31 January 2004         37                130

                              At 31 July 2004            39                132

Totals                        At 31 January 2004        357              1,236

                              At 31 July 2004           348              1,218

During the period we opened 6 stores and closed 15. The new stores were JD
Sports stores in Wandsworth, Ilford, Denton and Belfast and ATH stores within JD
stores in Oldham and Denton. The 15 stores closed were:

JD                                                                           1
JD (ex First Sport)                                                          2
First Sport                                                                  4
Active Venture                                                               2
Pure Woman                                                                   1
Clearance (ex First Sport)                                                   4
Clearance (ex JD)                                                            1

The rate of openings will remain similar and we would expect to close between 15
and 25 stores in the second half after which the store portfolio will be in much
better shape. 12 stores have already been closed since 31 July 2004.

Results

Total sales during the 6 months ended 31 July 2004 were £212.1 million compared
with £209.7 million for the six month period ended 31 July 2003. Although total
sales only grew by 1.1%, the like for like increase was 1.5%, driven by an
improved performance in the Sport Fascias where the like for like growth was
2.8%. Gross margin for the period increased from 45.6% to 46.0%.

Operating profit before exceptional items and the amortisation of goodwill was
£2.2 million and after interest charges was £0.1 million (6 months to 31 July
2003: loss of £1.5 million and loss of £3.8 million after interest). As well as
the improved margin, a reduction in operating expenses (excluding exceptionals)
of £1.8 million has contributed to this improvement. The principal savings have
been in staff costs.

The exceptional costs charged in arriving at the operating result totalling £4.7
million comprise a £3.0 million impairment provision on stores earmarked for
disposal, a £1.0 million provision for onerous lease costs on stores not trading
and £0.7 million, principally for the termination costs of the previous Chairman
and a number of senior staff in buying, merchandising, marketing and HR. The
impairment provision relates to 42 stores, almost all of which will be closed in
the next 12 months.

After charging exceptional items of £4.7 million (6 months to 31 July 2003: £1.1
million) and goodwill amortisation of £0.4 million (6 months to 31 July 2003:
£0.4 million), the operating loss before interest charges and loss on disposal
of fixed assets was £2.9 million (6 months to 31 July 2003: loss of £3.0
million).

Net interest charges fell to £2.1 million (6 months to 31 July 2003: £2.3
million) reflecting a reduction in net average debt.

The loss on ordinary activities before taxation rose to £6.4 million (6 months
to 31 July 2003: £5.6 million loss) as a result of the increases in exceptional
items and loss on disposal of fixed assets incurred as a result of the store
closure programme.

The adjusted earnings per ordinary share before exceptional items and
amortisation of goodwill was 0.34p (6 months to 31 July 2003: loss per ordinary
share of 4.32p).

Balance Sheet & Financial Resources

Total expenditure on fixed assets during the period was £3.3 million.

Stock was reduced to £72.1 million (31 July 2003: £78.6 million).

Net debt at 31 July 2004 reduced to £45.4 million resulting in a gearing level
of 86% (31 July 2003: £52.1 million and 96%).

Dividend

The Board has reviewed its policy on dividend payment in the light of the fact
that, since the change in year end and last year's disappointing second half
results, the weighting of the total dividend had become too loaded towards the
interim dividend declared on the first half results whereas the critical trading
period for the Group is the second half. In future, it is intended that, subject
to financial performance, dividends will be higher in the second half as was the
case in the year ended 31 March 2002 and prior.

The Board proposes to pay an interim dividend of 2.20p per ordinary share (2003:
2.86p). The dividend will be paid on 14 January 2005 to shareholders on the
register as at close of business on 10 December 2004.

Current Trading and Outlook

Trading has continued to be satisfactory since 31 July 2004 with Group like for
like sales to 2 October 2004 up by 7% against weak comparatives. The Board
believes considerable progress has been made in the last 6 months towards
restoring the Group's fortunes.

Peter Cowgill
Executive Chairman
14th October 2004


CONSOLIDATED PROFIT AND LOSS ACCOUNT
For the 6 months ended 31 July 2004

                                         Unaudited       Unaudited     Audited
                                          6 months  6 months ended   12 months
                                                           31 July    ended 31
                                                                       January
                                     ended 31 July
                                              2004            2003        2004
                             Note             £000            £000        £000

Turnover                                   212,079         209,731     458,073
Cost of sales                             (114,530)       (114,077)   (249,379)
                                           _______         _______     _______
Gross profit                                97,549          95,654     208,694
Operating
expenses (net)
- normal                                   (95,772)        (97,583)   (198,982)
Operating
expenses (net)
- exceptional                               (4,717)         (1,102)     (1,978)
                                           _______         _______     _______
Operating
(loss) /
profit                                      (2,940)         (3,031)      7,734
------------------- ------- ------        --------        --------   ---------
Analysed as:
Profit /
(loss) before
exceptional
items and
goodwill
amortisation                                 2,170          (1,541)     10,498

Exceptional
items                           1           (4,717)         (1,102)     (1,978)
Goodwill
amortisation                    1             (393)           (388)       (786)
-------------------  ------- ------       --------        --------   ---------

Operating
(loss) /
profit                                      (2,940)         (3,031)      7,734
Loss on
disposal of
fixed assets                    2           (1,314)           (312)     (1,095)
                                           _______         _______     _______
(Loss) /
profit on
ordinary
activities
before
interest                                    (4,254)         (3,343)      6,639
Interest
receivable and
similar income                                 170              50         100
Interest
payable and
similar
charges                                     (2,285)         (2,349)     (4,634)
                                           _______         _______     _______
(Loss) /
profit on
ordinary
activities
before
taxation                                    (6,369)         (5,642)      2,105
Taxation on
(loss) /
profit on
ordinary
activities                      3            2,654           2,472      (1,457)
                                           _______         _______     _______
(Loss) /
profit on
ordinary
activities
after taxation                              (3,715)         (3,170)        648
Dividends paid
and proposed                    4           (1,063)         (1,337)     (3,038)
                                           _______         _______     _______
Retained loss                               (4,778)         (4,507)     (2,390)
                                           _______         _______     _______

Earnings per
ordinary
share:                          5
- Basic                                      (7.95p)         (6.78p)      1.39p
- Adjusted to
exclude
exceptional
items and
goodwill
amortisation                                  0.34p          (4.32p)      6.21p
- Diluted                                    (7.95p)         (6.78p)      1.39p

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET
As at 31 July 2004
                                        Unaudited       Unaudited      Audited
                                            as at           as at        as at
                                          31 July    31 July 2003   31 January
                                             2004                         2004
                                             £000            £000         £000
Fixed assets
Intangible assets                          14,583          12,568       14,976
Tangible assets                            61,669          70,528       68,183
                                          _______         _______      _______
                                           76,252          83,096       83,159
                                          _______         _______      _______

Current assets
Stocks                                     72,113          78,646       65,727
Debtors and prepayments                    10,623          12,734       14,452
Cash at bank and in hand                   24,583          13,919        4,934
                                          _______         _______      _______
                                          107,319         105,299       85,113
Creditors: amounts falling due within
one year                                  (60,877)        (70,001)     (55,667)
                                          _______         _______      _______
Net current assets                         46,442          35,298       29,446
                                          _______         _______      _______
Total assets less current liabilities     122,694         118,394      112,605
Creditors: amounts falling due after
more than one year                        (64,991)        (61,627)     (51,555)
Provisions for liabilities and charges     (5,187)         (2,510)      (3,756)
                                          _______         _______      _______
Net assets                                 52,516          54,257       57,294
                                          _______         _______      _______

Capital and reserves
Called up share capital                     2,338           2,338        2,338
Share premium account                       8,917           8,917        8,917
Profit and loss account                    41,261          43,002       46,039
                                          _______         _______      _______
Equity shareholders' funds                 52,516          54,257       57,294
                                          _______         _______      _______


RECONCILIATION OF MOVEMENTS IN EQUITY SHAREHOLDERS' FUNDS
As at 31 July 2004
                                            Unaudited   Unaudited      Audited
                                                as at       as at        as at
                                              31 July     31 July   31 January
                                                 2004        2003         2004
                                                 £000        £000         £000

(Loss) / profit for the financial
period                                         (3,715)     (3,170)         648
Dividends paid and proposed                    (1,063)     (1,337)      (3,038)
                                              _______     _______      _______
Retained loss for the financial                (4,778)     (4,507)      (2,390)
period
Irrevocable dividend waiver                         -           -          920
                                              _______     _______      _______
Net movement in equity shareholders'
funds                                          (4,778)     (4,507)      (1,470)
Opening equity shareholders' funds             57,294      58,764       58,764
                                              _______     _______      _______
Closing equity shareholders' funds             52,516      54,257       57,294
                                              _______     _______      _______

CONSOLIDATED CASH FLOW STATEMENT
For the 6 months ended 31 July
2004
                                            Unaudited   Unaudited      Audited
                                             6 months    6 months    12 months
                                             ended 31    ended 31     ended 31
                                                 July        July      January
                                                 2004        2003         2004
                                     Note        £000        £000         £000

Net cash inflow from operating
activities                                      9,431      11,837       23,600
Returns on investments and servicing of
finance                                        (2,115)     (2,203)      (4,302)
Taxation                                        1,074         (58)      (1,287)
Capital expenditure                            (2,741)     (4,847)      (9,229)
Equity dividends paid                               -      (1,337)      (4,375)
                                              _______     _______      _______
Net cash inflow before financing                5,649       3,392        4,407
Financing                                      14,000       7,000       (3,000)
                                              _______     _______      _______
Increase in cash                        6      19,649      10,392        1,407
                                              _______     _______      _______


NOTES TO THE INTERIM FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

1 Operating (loss) / profit and exceptional items

  Operating (loss) / profit is stated after charging goodwill amortisation of
  £393,000 relating to the acquisition of the Sport and Fashion division from
  Blacks Leisure Group Plc in May 2002.

  The exceptional items totalling £4,717,000 comprise an impairment provision of
  £2,976,000 on stores earmarked for disposal, a provision of £1,012,000 for
  onerous leases on stores not trading and £729,000, principally for the
  termination costs of the previous Chairman and a number of senior staff in
  buying, merchandising, marketing and HR.

2 Exceptional items

  In addition to the items described in Note 1 there is an additional charge of
  £1,314,000 relating to loss on disposal of fixed assets associated with store
  closures.

3 Taxation

  Taxation has been estimated at the expected rate for the full year.

4 Dividend

  The Directors have declared an interim dividend of 2.20p per ordinary share, 
  to be paid on 14 January 2005 to shareholders on the register as at 10 
  December 2004.

5 Earnings per ordinary share

  Basic earnings per ordinary share represent the loss for the period of
  £3,715,000 (2003: loss £3,170,000) divided by the weighted average number of
  ordinary shares in issue of 46,748,607 (2003:46,748,607).

  Adjusted earnings per ordinary share have been based on the profit or loss on
  ordinary activities after taxation for each financial period but excluding
  exceptional items and goodwill amortisation.

  The earnings used to calculate earnings per ordinary share is given below:

                             Unaudited               Unaudited         Audited
                              6 months          6 months ended       12 months
                                                       31 July        ended 31
                         ended 31 July                                 January
                                  2004                    2003            2004
Earnings
attributable
to ordinary
shareholders                      £000                    £000            £000

(Loss) /
profit on
ordinary
activities
after taxation                  (3,715)                 (3,170)            648

- Exceptional
items                            4,717                   1,102           1,978
- Tax
relating to
exceptional
items                           (1,237)                   (339)           (509)
- Goodwill
amortisation                       393                     388             786
                               _______                 _______         _______
Profit /
(loss) after
taxation
excluding
exceptional
items and
goodwill
amortisation                       158                  (2,019)          2,903
                               _______                 _______         _______

Adjusted
earnings per
ordinary share                    0.34p                  (4.32p)          6.21p
                               _______                 _______         _______

6 Analysis of net debt

                                 At 31 January          Cash        At 31 July
                                          2004          flow              2004
                                          £000          £000              £000

Cash at bank and in hand                 4,934        19,649            24,583
                                       _______       _______           _______

                                         4,934        19,649            24,583
Loans                                  (56,000)      (14,000)          (70,000)
                                       _______       _______           _______
Total net debt                         (51,066)        5,649           (45,417)
                                       _______       _______           _______

7 Basis of preparation

  The unaudited results have been prepared using the same accounting policies as
  those used for the financial statements for the year ended 31 January 2004.

  The financial information set out above does not constitute full statutory
  accounts within the meaning of Section 240 of the Companies Act 1985. The
  amounts shown in respect of the period ended 31 January 2004 have been 
  extracted from the full statutory accounts, on which the auditors have made an 
  unqualified report. The statutory accounts have been filed with the Registrar 
  of Companies.

  Copies of the interim financial statements will be posted to shareholders and
  are available to members of the general public from the company's registered
  office: Hollinsbrook Way, Pilsworth, Bury, Lancashire BL9 8RR.


Independent review report by KPMG Audit Plc to The John David Group Plc

Introduction
We have been engaged by the Company to review the financial information set out
on pages 6 to 10 and we have read the other information contained in the interim
report and considered whether it contains any apparent misstatements or material
inconsistencies with the financial information.
This report is made solely to the Company in accordance with the terms of our
engagement to assist the company in meeting the requirements of the Listing
Rules of the Financial Services Authority. Our review has been undertaken so
that we might state to the company those matters we are required to state to it
in this report and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent permitted by law,
we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the company for
our review work, for this report, or for the conclusions we have reached.

Directors' responsibilities
The interim report, including the financial information contained therein, is
the responsibility of, and has been approved by, the directors. The directors
are responsible for preparing the interim report in accordance with the Listing
Rules which require that the accounting policies and presentation applied to the
interim figures should be consistent with those applied in preparing the
preceding annual accounts except where they are to be changed in the next annual
accounts in which case any changes, and the reasons for them, are to be
disclosed.

Review work performed
We conducted our review in accordance with guidance contained in Bulletin 1999/
4: Review of interim financial information issued by the Auditing Practices
Board for use in the United Kingdom. A review consists principally of making
enquiries of Group management and applying analytical procedures to the
financial information and underlying financial data and, based thereon,
assessing whether the accounting policies and presentation have been
consistently applied unless otherwise disclosed. A review is substantially less
in scope than an audit performed in accordance with Auditing Standards and
therefore provides a lower level of assurance than an audit. Accordingly we do
not express an audit opinion on the financial information.

Review conclusion
On the basis of our review we are not aware of any material modifications that
should be made to the financial information as presented for the six months
ended 31 July 2004.

KPMG Audit Plc
Chartered Accountants
Preston
14 October 2004





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