Sports Direct, which is owned by Mike Ashley, has announced that its profits are rising. They were up by 14.6% in the 13 weeks ending on 26 January 2014, totalling £280.7 million.
Here are some of the key figures in more detail:
Sales for the 13 weeks ending 26 January 2014 were up 11.2% to £655.4m
Sports Retail sales in the 13 week period increased 6.9% to £529.9m
Premium Lifestyle sales in the period were up 52.5% to £71.2m
The Brands division revenue increased by 15.5% to £54.3m
“Despite tougher comparisons during the period, Sports Retail continues to perform well driven by our on-going focus on exceptional quality, unbeatable value and availability. Online also performed strongly with non-UK online gross profit contribution expected to be greater than the UK equivalent by the end of this financial year."
– Dave Forsey, Chief Executive of Sports Direct International plc
The company will release their preliminary results on 17 July 2014.
Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has raised 100 million pounds after selling a four percent stake in his company.
The move has sparked speculation over his plans for the cash haul, amid rumours that the sports retail tycoon is interested in expanding his retail empire - possibly to include collapsed fashion chain Republic.
Sports Direct's brands also include Firetrap, Dunlop, Slazenger, Everlast, Lonsdale and Karrimor.
The Newcastle United owner currently owns a 64% stake of Sports Direct's shares, and Nick Bubb, an independent retail analyst, believes Mr Ashley's share sale may have been in response to requests to free-up stock to investors:
"I think he's doing it to improve liquidity in the stock - he doesn't need the money and if he was intending to bid for retail assets, he would do that through Sports Direct."
The move may also fuel hopes among Newcastle United fans that Mr Ashley is planning to bolster the squad with more new players in the summer, having recently secured five new signings.