Sports Direct reports further growth

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Sports Direct store
Image caption,
Sports Direct attributed its success to its employee bonus share scheme, now in its second year

Sports Direct has reported rising sales and underlying profits, as it pulls further ahead of loss-making rival JJB.

The sports equipment and clothing retailer said it made £119m profit before tax for the year to 24 April, marginally down on the previous year.

But underlying profits - which strip out currency effects and exceptional items - were up 33%, while revenues grew 10%.

The company attributed the success to its new employee bonus share scheme.

All targets had been met for full bonuses to be paid out in what was the second year of the scheme's operation, the firm said.

Despite the tough conditions for retailers in its home market, Sports Direct said the contribution of UK retail business to gross profits had increased 6.6% on a like-for-like basis.

The results are in stark contrast to rival JJB Sports, which announced in May a doubling of pre-tax losses for the last year.

"This has been an excellent year of growth for the group in what has been a challenging retail environment," said Sports Direct's chief executive David Forsey.

The retailer said it would not be paying shareholders a dividend this year.

The results come a week after Sports Direct announced it had paid £7m to take 80% stakes in two fashion retailers - USC and Cruise Clothing.

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