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JD Sports shares fall as World Cup fever produces a surge in sales

RETAILER JD Sports Fashion has seen its shares fall one per cent even though it has seen a surge in sales in the run up to the start of the football World Cup in Brazil.

IN CHARGE: Retailer JD Sports Fashion did not give any specific details on how Tiso, which is still being run by Chris Tiso, was trading.
IN CHARGE: Retailer JD Sports Fashion did not give any specific details on how Tiso, which is still being run by Chris Tiso, was trading.

The company, which bought a majority stake in Scottish outdoor company Tiso Group in November last year, said the building excitement about the tournament had enhanced trading in its largest division in the 18 weeks to June 7.

As a result of that it decided it could not give comparable like-for-like figures as they could be potentially misleading.

However, it said it was "certainly pleased" with the performance in the sports arm, which trades under the JD Sports and Size? brands in the UK, in the 18 weeks to June 7. JD Sports is likely to have benefited from replica kit sales of the nations participating in the World Cup as well as related clothing and accessories.

Its website lists replica shirts from nations such as England, Germany, France and Brazil, with adult ones starting at around £50.

Alongside the positive performance in its sports arm there were brief updates on other divisions.

The company did not give any specific details on how Tiso, which is still being run by Chris Tiso and also includes the Alpine Bikes and George Fisher businesses, was trading. But its outdoor division, which takes in Tiso as well as the likes of Blacks and Millets, was said to be doing well against weak comparitive figures from the prior year.

The fashion arm, covering Scotts, Bank and Tessuti, had a "varied" performance in the period but JD indicated it was seeing encouraging signs for the future.

JD said: "Based on the trading performance to date we anticipate a satisfactory increase in first-half profitability in line with our expectations."

A number of brokers, including N+1 Singer and FinnCap, reiterated their buy rating on the company's stock.

Kate Calvert at Investec said the company also had great potential to increase its operations outside the UK and added: "After a knockout 2014, JD Sports reports a pleasing start to the year.

"Our 2015 forecasts feel firmly underpinned with risk already on the up side.

"A good England football performance would be the icing on the cake in the first half."

Shares closed down 16p at 1610p.

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