Sports Direct issues profits warning after poor Christmas trading

Sports Direct has warned that its full-year profits are likely to fall short of previous expectations.

Sports Direct has warned that its full-year profits are likely to fall short of previous expectations. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Retailer Sports Direct issued a profits warning today, blaming poor trading over the Christmas period on unseasonably warm weather.

It said it was no longer confident of meeting its underlying annual earnings target of £420million, and now expected to deliver earnings of between £380m and £420m.

The announcement by the group, controlled by Newcastle United FC owner Mike Ashley, comes less than a month after it posted half-year trading results in which it said was “confident” of hitting its original earnings target.

Sports Direct posted interim results showing a 3.6% rise in underlying pre-tax profits for the six months to October 25 to £166.4m.

Its warning on full-year profits follows festive period trading updates from Next and Marks & Spencer, both of which also cited the warm winter weather as the cause of disappointing pre-Christmas sales.


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Last month, following media and political criticism over its employment practices, Sports Direct pledged to pay all its directly employed staff and casual workers above the national minimum wage with effect from January 1 this year, in a move that will cost the firm £10m.

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