The Independent

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JD Sports delivers bumper profits after demand surge

JD Sports revealed a surge in profits as pent-up demand from shoppers returning to stores and strong online sales helped drive the retailer to a “record first half” of trading. Shares in the company jumped yesterday morning after the sportswear retailer revealed a pre-tax profit of £364.6m for the six months to 31 July, compared with £41.5m for the same period last year. The group said it now expects to deliver profits of £750m for the

financial year, far ahead of the £600m figure previously predicted by analysts. Peter Cowgill, founder and executive chair of the retail group, hailed it as a “stellar” set of figures amid a raft of industry challenges. The group also posted a jump in sales despite still being impacted by some pandemic restrictio­ns, weakened high street footfall, supply chain challenges and Brexit-related costs.

Morrisons’ pension trustees have reached an agreement with Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), the suitor targeting a £7bn takeover of the UK supermarke­t chain. The retailer agreed the offer from the US private equity firm last month but it could still be trumped by a rival firm. A consortium led by Softbank-backed private equity firm Fortress Investment Group might yet take control of the firm as the retailer looks set to head for an auction. Yesterday, CD&R confirmed it has agreed a package to provide additional security and covenant support to the Morrisons pension fund. Chair of the trustees Steve Southern said: “CD&R has been proactive in its engagement with the trustees, with discussion­s progressin­g positively and decisively, delivering a positive outcome for all members of Morrisons’ pension schemes.” Pension trustees had previously raised concerns that the proposed acquisitio­n of Morrisons could “materially weaken” support for those covered by the schemes. PA

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 ?? (Getty) ?? Sportswear retailer revealed pre-tax profit of£365m for first half of the year
(Getty) Sportswear retailer revealed pre-tax profit of£365m for first half of the year
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