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Sports Direct International Plc

Sports Direct upbeat after healthy full year performance

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Sports Direct (LON:SPD) struck an upbeat note of outlook as it delivered robust full year figures, with profits and revenue up thanks to a particularly strong performance by its retail operations.

For its year to 24 April 2011, group revenue increased 10.2 per cent to a record £1,599m, with revenue at the retail arm alone jumping 11.9 per cent to £1,412m. UK retail like-for-like gross contribution increased by 6.6 per cent.

Margins were increased across most of its divisions and the group slashed its net debt by 52.3 per cent to £149m.

Online revenue has increased by 97 per cent from £48.6m to £95.7m over the year and represented 7.7 per cent of total UK retail sales versus 4.5 per cent last time. On the international front, retail sales rose 10.3 per cent to £132.3m.

Underlying EBITDA for the year increased by 24.9 per cent to £200.4m, with the retail division seeing a 24 per cent increase to £188.4m.

Group pretax profits shot ahead 32.7 per cent to £135.5m, supporting earnings growth of 35.9 per cent to 16.83p, up from 12.39p last time.

Dave Forsey, chief executive of Sports Direct, said: "This has been an excellent year of growth for the Group in what has been a challenging retail environment.”

Forsey added that key to the growth has been the success of the company’s employee bonus share scheme, which Sports Direct introduced to focus the whole group on its ambitious growth targets.

Management has confirmed targets for the second year of the scheme have been met and employees will receive shares in summer 2012 and summer 2013.

He added: "The strength of our business model means that we are very well positioned for the challenges and targets for the future. Our progress since the year end is in line with management expectations and we are confident of reaching our current year target of underlying EBITDA of £215m before scheme costs."

Quick facts: Sports Direct International Plc

Price: £2.78

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £1.46 billion
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