Shares in Sports Direct have slumped more than 15 per cent after it was forced to delay publication of the company's highly-anticipated results.

Mike Ashley's retail empire admitted to numerous complexities in integrating department store chain House of Fraser, which it bought earlier this year.

Sports Direct had been due to update the stock market on Thursday, but this will now be pushed back until some time between July 26 and August 23, it said.

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In a statement, Sports Direct said its auditors, Grant Thornton, need more time to sign off the accounts.

On Monday, shares opened down 26.4p at 237p, falling by as much as 15% in early trading.

It said: "The reasons for the delay are the complexities of the integration into the company of the House of Fraser business, and the current uncertainty as to the future trading performance of this business, together with the increased regulatory scrutiny of auditors and audits.

"These factors have led to a need for the company to compile more information than in previous years for the audit of period ended 28 April 2019, and has therefore impacted on preparations for and responses to increased challenges in connection with this audit.

"Sports Direct would also note that increased regulatory scrutiny is leading to longer lead times generally for the completion of audits.

"Sports Direct believes its accounts and their audit to be at an advanced stage.

"However, there are a number of key areas to conclude on which could materially affect the guidance given in Sports Direct's announcement of 13 December 2018."

The executive chairman of FTSE 100 software giant Micro Focus has pocketed around £11.6 million after selling off more than half of his stake in the business.

Shares in the company plummeted at the end of last week - making it the worst-performing company in the blue-chip index - with many assuming that investors were unimpressed with recent results.

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However, it now appears to be that the 15.99% slump during the week was due to Kevin Loosemore selling two chunks of shares over two days.

On Wednesday July 10, he sold 214,658 shares at 1,861p each - taking home £4m - and, a day later, cashed in a further 435,342 shares at 1,736p each - £7.6m.

He still holds more than 640,000 shares, worth around £11m.

China's economic growth slowed to its lowest level in a decade in the quarter ending in June, adding to pressure on Chinese leaders as they fight a tariff war with Washington.

The world's second-largest economy grew 6.2% over a year ago, down from the previous quarter's 6.4%, government data showed on Monday.

That was the weakest growth since the first quarter of 2009 in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

Forecasters had expected China's economy to rebound in late 2018 but pushed back that target after US president Donald Trump hiked US tariffs on Chinese imports to pressure Beijing over its efforts to develop advanced technologies.

Now, economists say the slowdown might extend into next year.

Mr Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping agreed last month to resume negotiations on the fight that has battered exporters on both sides. But economists warn their truce is fragile because they still face the same array of disputes that caused talks to break down in May.

Chinese leaders have stepped up spending and bank lending to keep growth within this year's official target range of 6% to 6.5% and avert politically dangerous job losses. But they face an avalanche of bad news including plunging car sales.