Britain’s biggest sportswear retailer JD Sports (JD.L) reinstated its annual guidance on Tuesday, saying it was encouraged by its performance since stores reopened thanks to the easing of coronavirus-led restrictions.
The owner of Footpatrol and Cloggs said first-half pretax profit sank 68% to just 41.5 million pounds due to the effects of coronavirus-driven store closures, but it predicted full-year headline pretax profit would be at least 265 million pounds ($348.63 million).
Shares in the company were seen rising 2%, according to traders’ premarket calls.
Initial performance in reopened stores was boosted by a combination of pent-up demand, particularly in areas where online sales are less mature, and shoppers jumping on discounted stock, JD said.
The company also warned, however, that footfall in stores continued to be significantly weaker than historic levels in all regions, but particularly across Europe.
“Some of the weakness in footfall has been offset through better conversion and higher average transaction values as those consumers who visited physical retail did so with greater intent,” JD said.
The company also said it was mindful that the UK’s transition period with the European Union ends later this year and was trying to establish a more permanent European supply chain infrastructure.