By Kristy Dorsey

JD Sports has abandoned any attempt to provide earnings guidance following the closure of all of its stores in the UK, Europe and the United States.

In a statement to the stock market, the sportswear retailer also announced that it would delay releasing its full-year financial results, which were due on April 15. A new date has not been confirmed, but is expected to be in the second half of May.

The store closures followed the Prime Minister’s call on Monday night for all “non-essential” UK shops to shut down – guidance which fellow sportswear retailer Sports Direct initially tried to ignore.

“As of now, essentially all of our stores are closed in the UK, United States and Europe,” JD Sports said. “In a typical week, at this time of year, we would expect the stores which are closed to contribute substantially all of the group’s physical store sales.

“Whilst our trading websites continue to accept and fulfil orders and, whilst we have seen a resilient performance to date in most territories, this represents a comparatively small mitigation in terms of overall profit contribution.”

Given the uncertainty, the board said it would not be appropriate to provide guidance at this time on performance in the current financial year.

Despite these difficulties, the group said its balance sheet is durable enough to withstand the turmoil. It is pursuing “a number of measures” to preserve cash, and added that the working capital facilities available in the territories where it operates are “more than adequate” to meet the cash deficiencies that may reasonably be anticipated.

“Along with everyone else, the group is experiencing major disruption to our business operations as we seek to protect our colleagues and customers from the effects of Covid-19,” executive chairman Peter Cowgill said. “Their safety remains our number one priority and we continue to take all appropriate action in line with government advice in our various territories.