13/12/2012 05:51 GMT

Sports Direct's Results Outshine Rivals Thanks To Online Sales Drive And An Olympics Boom

Specialist sportswear retailer Sports Direct has produced a record-breaking first half of results after enjoying the benefits of an Olympics boom and its high street rivals struggling.

Group revenue grew by 22% over the period, with online sales rising by 54%. Website sales now make up 12.5% of all sales at Sports Direct. Pre-tax profit hit £125 million.

The group's international expansion continued too, with stores opened in four new European destinations in the past six months.

Dave Forsey, chief executive of Sports Direct International said in a statement that much of the group's success had been down to the Olympics.

"There is no doubt that Team GB's outstanding performance has helped increase the awareness and popularity of sport across the UK, and that we have maintained our position as the consumers' champion," he said.

"The group continues to deliver growth across its divisions and we have maintained our investment in margin, inventory and extra group marketing, while also investing for future growth, particularly in our international and e-commerce divisions."

Company Watch's business analyst Nick Hood told the Huffington Post UK: "Today's excellent results from Sports Direct confirm the benefits of being the dominant player in a specialist retail market. Its major competitors have faltered, with JJB Sports collapsing over the cliff into financial oblivion and JD Sports distracted by the integration of its Blacks Leisure acquisition, leaving the field clear for Mike Ashley's retail juggernaut to take maximum advantage of the Olympics boost.

"Sports Direct's overall financial position is robust and should provide a more than adequate resource platform to exploit the opportunities that will undoubtedly continue to come its way. We calculate health scores based on published accounts, and Sports Direct rates at a creditable 72 out of a possible 100, putting the company in touching distance of promotion to our credit risk premier league."