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Sports (not so) Direct - more delays in the company's financial results

Mike Ashley, Sports Direct’s chief executive, was due to update the City on Friday morning. Credit: PA

People might say no news is good news, but in the world of business - no news can spell trouble.

On Friday morning we were expecting Sports Direct to present its latest financial results - but they didn’t arrive.

At 9am I went to the firm's HQ for the much-anticipated announcement, only to find a member of staff with a clipboard reading a statement saying: "Unfortunately we are still finalising preliminary results.

"We anticipate that our annual results will be still be released today, with a presentation to follow, and will update again at midday.

"Apologies for any inconvenience," they added.

The retailer was due to update the city on Friday morning but said the numbers are still not ready – the second delay this month. Credit: PA

That pushed the share price down when the stock market opened, though it recovered ground later.

The financial results had originally been scheduled for release last Thursday.

It's unusual in the corporate world to have this type of delay and it is seen as unsettling – as we see from the share price drop.

What happens at Sports Direct is significant, affecting thousands of employees and high streets across Britain.

The firm bought House of Fraser almost a year ago and Friday's financial data should give an indication on how the outlets are doing.

Many House of Fraser stores closed as Mike Ashley blamed landlords for putting hundreds of jobs at risk. Credit: PA

Sports Direct employs around 27,000 directly - with many others depending on it as suppliers and contractors.

What makes it so very different is that just as others are leaving the high street it has been buying into brick and mortar stores.

After a spending spree it now owns a large chunk of the high street. A retail empire ranging from sport to sofas.

It now owns Sofa.com, Evans Cycles, Game Digital and the lingerie brand Agent Provocateur.

27,000
Employees work at Sports Direct.

The boss adds to the vibrant interest in this company.

Billionaire Mike Ashley also owns Newcastle United and has become known as a blunt talker - criticised in the past over pay and working practices at his warehouse in Shirebrook, Derbyshire, which led to a parliamentary inquiry.

The long-awaited financial details were still awaited for several hours. We were first told to expect an update at midday - that was changed to 2pm.

The results eventually emerged around 5pm.