After a storming start to the year, JD Sports’ share price has slowed to a jog and despite reporting a record annual profit of near £1 billion, there was little to get the stock moving upwards in today’s results.
True, the company does expect to exceed the £1 billion mark in terms of profit in the current financial year but, beyond this arbitrary milestone, JD still has work to do and considerable sums to spend to meet its ambitious goals for growth.
AJ Bell’s Russ Mould said: “Profit fell at the pre-tax level on adjustments, some of which related to restructuring and acquisition costs, and in February new CEO Régis Schultz flagged an outlay of up to £3 billion as JD looks to roll out as many as 1,750 stores globally over five years.
“For now, Schultz is off to a flier in his new role, replacing the long-term brains behind the business, Peter Cowgill. JD is demonstrating the strength of its brand and its successful capture of the under-25 demographic as it enjoys resilient sales.
“However, it needs to be wary of any shifts in consumer preferences. Fashion is by its nature cyclical and a move away from the athleisure trend would be unhelpful to JD.
“The company must hope that its target market, potentially insulated from cost-of-living pressures if they still live at home, continues to enjoy a decent level of disposable income and that its relationships with core brands like Adidas and Nike remain strong as they pursue direct-to-consumer strategies.”