Oct 19, 2011
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Sports Direct posts lift in sales

Oct 19, 2011

LONDON | Wed Oct 19, 2011 - Sports Direct, Britain's biggest sporting goods retailer, said revenues rose in recent weeks and added it is banking on events such as next year's London Olympics to keep sales rolling in 2012.

The firm, controlled by Newcastle United soccer club owner Mike Ashley, said total sales rose 11.5 percent for the 9-weeks to September 25 to 329 million pounds.

Gross profit rose 12 percent to 131 million pounds.

"The strong trading highlights the positive sales growth achieved post the tough FIFA World Cup comparisons," said Chief Executive Dave Forsey in a statement on Wednesday.

"We remain positive about the group's outlook and are excited about the opportunities in 2012 with the official Sport Relief T-Shirt...and both UEFA EURO 2012 and the London Olympics in the summer," he added.

Sports Direct said it is on track to meet its 2011-12 target for underlying earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 215 million pounds before staff bonus scheme costs.

It made underlying EBITDA of 200.4 million pounds in 2010-11, inclusive of bonus costs.

Sports Direct, which owns Sports World and Lillywhites stores as well as brands including Slazenger, Lonsdale and Dunlop, said retail division sales rose 12.1 percent.

Shares in Sports Direct were up 0.9 percent at 239.9 pence at 0702 on Wednesday, valuing the firm at just over 1.3 billion pounds.

(Reporting by Lorraine Turner and James Davey; Editing by Sarah Young)

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