Sports Direct Profits From Olympics as Sales Increase 25%


LONDON -- After a healthy boost from the European Championships earlier this summer, Sports Direct (ISE: SPD.L) has enjoyed another profitable knock-on effect from a nation wrapped up in athletic euphoria, thanks to the success of the Olympic Games.

In its interim management statement, the company revealed that year-over-year group total sales increased by 25.3% to 519 million pounds, while gross profit increased 20.4% to 211.1 million pounds. At the time of writing, shares were up 13.50 pence (4.3%) this morning.

Chief Executive Dave Forsey commented: "During this unprecedented sporting summer our Retail performance continues to go from strength to strength. Since the end of July trading has remained equally strong, especially within the U.K. Sports Retail division where sales have also been boosted by the tremendous performance of Team GB at the London Olympics."

Sports Direct is one of the few success stories on the high street at the moment, during a time that has seen many of its rivals -- notably JJB Sports -- suffer from a drop-off in footfall as consumers increasingly turn to the Internet to do their shopping. But Sports Direct seems to have an astute management team in place, opening eight and closing three core stores in the last quarter, while expansion into Europe continues with nine stores opened -- four in Belgium, two in Hungary, one in Slovenia, one in Portugal and one in France -- in addition to a store launching in Iceland with a joint-venture partner.

Indeed, fellow Fool Maynard Paton deemed it "quite possibly the best retail opportunity in the market today" back in January -- and these trading results look like he's backed a winner.

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