Sports Direct, the sports chain owned by controversial British businessman Mike Ashley, increased its sales to 2.04 billion pounds (2.4 billion euros) in the first six months of the financial year. The group also expects that the dispute with Belgian tax authorities will soon be resolved.
Growth through acquisitions
The turnover of the whole group increased by 14 % to 2.04 billion pounds. Excluding acquisitions and at constant exchange rates, however, revenue fell by 6.4 %. Turnover of the ‘UK Sports Retail’ division (Sports Direct, Jack Wills, Game Digital, Evans Cycles and Sofa.com) increased by 6.7 % to 1.2 billion pounds (1.5 billion euros), but this growth too was mainly the result of acquisitions.
The group's gross operating profit rose by almost 22 % to 181.2 million pounds (220 million euros). The group says that the first signs of recovery are visible in the ailing House of Fraser chain, which Sports Direct acquired last year. The European retail branch’s profitability also improved.
According to Ashley, his clash with Belgian auditors over an overdue tax bill of 674 million euros is close to being resolved, writes Retail Gazette. He expects a decision will be adopted in the case early next year.