'Difficult Quarter' for Sports Direct

The UK’s 400-plus branch Sports Direct chain issued a profits warning last week, refusing to give same-store sales, but stating that the first quarter of this financial year had been exceptionally difficult. The retailer, which also owns brands including Dunlop, Slazenger, and Lonsdale—and is in the process of buying boxing brand Everlast—reported profit before tax up 38 percent to £151 million, on sales up 13 percent to £1.35 billion for the 12 months to the end of April. The group’s licensing business grew by over 22 percent in the same period. Analysts and investors are upset that the company refused to give a picture of current trading, despite respectable increases in profit and sales.

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