Trainers-to-sports kit seller JD Sports Fashion (JD.) sprints 5.4% higher to 537p on record full-year results, driven by strong sales growth in its sports fashion fascias. Another round of earnings upgrades ensues as taxable profits pass the £100 million milestone.

Bury-headquartered JD Sports Fashion enjoyed upwards earnings revisions in January after flagging up a fantastic festive trading period and today's stonking annual numbers are prompting retail scribes to nudge up estimates again.

Web chart - JD Sports - Apr 15

Stripping out results from Bank, the loss-making fashion chain sold to turnaround specialist Hilco for a nominal sum late last year (25 Nov) and subsequently put into administration, continuing sales surged 25% higher to £1.52 billion. JD Sports Fashion's profit before tax and exceptional items powered 22% ahead to more than £100 million for the first time.

The sports, fashion and outdoor brands seller, trading under fascias including JD, Size? and Milletts, delivered an 'exceptional performance' in sports fashion, as the expansionist retailer enjoyed bumper demand for branded sportswear and athletic footwear across Western Europe. The sports fascias more than made up for a disappointing turn from the Outdoor business, consisting of the Blacks and Millets chains. Mild autumn and winter weather hit demand and triggered a wave of margin-eroding discounts across the sector, though JD Sports Fashion is making inroads into divisional losses.

Following today's stonking numbers, Cantor Fitzgerald's Freddie George reiterates his 'buy' rating and upgrades January 2016 pre-tax profits from £100 million to £104 million. Brokerage N+1 Singer re-iterates its 'buy' stance and expects to upgrade its 560p price target.

Issue Date: 15 Apr 2015