Sports Direct Posts Profits Hike Of 22.7%; Online Sales And Premium Brands Perform Well

Sports Direct continues to buck the high street trend, after it revealed sales rose 21.1% to £589.5 million on Thursday, with gross profits jumping 22.7% to £244.8m.

The disappearance of its rival JJB on 24 September after it fell into administration , prompted a surge in sales at the end of 2012, but it's Sports Direct's superior web offering that appears to be bringing the punters in this year.

Dave Forsey, chief executive of Sports Direct, said in a statement: "As we highlighted back in December at our Interim Results, the group's strong performance continued during Q3, primarily driven by our Sports Retail division, including online following the successful integration of our new operating platform.

"We are certain of reaching our 2013 full year targeted underlying EBITDA (a financial reporting term meaning income before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation have been subtracted) of £270m before the charge for the bonus share schemes."

Bhaven Patel, trader at Accendo Markets, said owner Mike Ashley had again demonstrated he was in tune with the value mantra of the UK consumer offering, and had comfortably avoided pitfalls that have claimed high profile names in the past year.

"With online shopping becoming a major catalyst of growth for the UK retail sector, Sports Direct has been ahead of the game in terms of their web offering," he continued.

"In addition, the in-store experience is supported by enthusiastic staff who are being incentivised in a savvy manner. The board should view Mike Ashley's 10 million shares as a bonus well earned, as Sports Direct under his guidance proves to be a shining light."