LONDON (dpa-AFX) - Sports Direct International Plc (SPD.L) Thursday reported a higher profit for its first half, as revenues grew about 23 percent benefited by growth across all of its divisions. The sporting goods retailer backed its EBITDA forecast for full year, but has decided not to pay a dividend in respect of the half-year.
Looking ahead to 2014, the company said it is confident that its strategy will continue to deliver growth.
Dave Forsey, chief executive of the company stated, 'The first half has been another record period for Sports Direct with the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics playing a significant part in the Group's strong results.'
For the 26 week-period ended October 28, 2012, the company posted profit before tax of 125.2 million pounds, higher than 100.34 million pounds in the previous year. Excluding items, underlying profit before tax was 125.1 million pounds, compared to 99 million pounds a year ago.
On a per share basis, earnings increased to 14.73 pence from 11.17 pence per share reported last year. Underlying earnings for the recent period was 14.71 pence per share.
Group gross margin decreased 30 basis points to 41.2 percent, while the UK Sports Retail margins were up 10 basis points to 42.3 percent.
Revenues for the period grew 22.5 percent to 1.09 billion pounds, supported by significant growth across all of its divisions.
Revenues from the UK Sports Retail increased 18.1 percent, and International Retail sales were up 11.4 percent from last year. Premium Lifestyle revenues climbed 150.4 percent and Brands sales improved 15.7 percent from the preceding year. Sports online sales were up 54 percent from a year earlier.
Further, the board has decided not to pay a dividend in respect of the half-year, as it believes it is in shareholders' best interests to maintain maximum flexibility at this time.
As announced in October, the company's board remains confident of reaching full year targeted underlying EBITDA of 270 million pounds, before Bonus Share Schemes charge.
The company is scheduled to report its third-quarter interim management statement on February 31, 2013.
SPD.L is currently trading at 398 pence, down 11.30 pence or 2.76 percent, on a volume of 163,012 shares.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX