Sales at JD Sports surged over the Christmas period, with like-for-like sales jumping 10.6% in the five weeks to 2 January. This lead the retailer to update its profit outlook, saying it will beat its previous expectation of £136m (€180m, $196m) by 10%.
"I am delighted to report that the exceptional performance in the year to date has continued during the key Christmas period," said JD Sports chairman Peter Cowgill. "This is particularly pleasing given the very strong comparatives in the core Sports Fashion fascias in the prior two years."
The retailer is continuing its marathon of good results, having doubled its share price in the past year. JD Sports is reporting its full-year report of the 12 months to 30 January in April.
However, JD Sports's termination of an IT project that would have focused on replacing the company's core systems will lead to a one-off exceptional charge of around £12m. But shareholders were still pleased with the results, causing the retailer's share price to jump almost 5% in morning trading on 14 January.
In contrast, rival retailer Sports Direct has blamed its poor results on the unusually warm Christmas period. And the sports company has been in the spotlight following a Guardian investigation and a scandal involving money allegedly sent to the boyfriend of Mike Ashley's daughter.
"[JD Sports] has shown that they have the ability and strategy to rack up its sales growth and take the opportunity by its horns," commented Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Avatrade. "They have also presented immensely gloomy profit expectation for this year. It is a enormous success for the firm, especially when you have a big competitor on the street which is offering the same products, but at much better price."