JJB Sports blames losses on worst recession

JJB Sports has reported pre-tax first-half losses of almost 10m, despite having closed 96 stores this year. The struggling sports retailer blamed the “worst retail recession” for its weak performance.

JJB Sports has reported pre-tax first-half losses of almost £10m, despite having closed 96 stores this year. The struggling sports retailer blamed the “worst retail recession” for its weak performance.

The group reported just £1m operating profit for the period ending July 27, compared to £11.6m at the same time last year.

Roger Lane-Smith, group chairman, says: “My non-executive board colleague David Jones has described the current climate as ‘the worst retail recession I have ever known’. I can only say that David’s statement is borne out by our trading results as reported today.”

JJB Sports has struggled to compete with rivals such as Sports Direct and Foot Locker over recent years. Its full-year pre-tax profits in the last financial year were down almost 72% to £10.8m, prompting it to close 96 branches nationwide.

Lane-Smith says: “Looking ahead we remain very cautious about the outlook for retail given the background of a weakening consumer economy.

“We have strong operational management in place in all parts of the business who are working hard to ensure that the needs of all our customers continue to be met.”

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