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Business News

JD Sports bank on Wayne Rooney to boost sales


JD Sports is hoping England striker Wayne Rooney can lead the Three Lions into the knock-out stages of the World Cup to further boost its rocketing sales.

The retailer reported booming sales of shirts sold to fans in the run-up to the competition in Brazil had distorted sales comparisons so drastically it declined to give a figure.

Executive chairman Peter Cowgill said replica shirts of forwards including Rooney and Daniel Sturridge had sold well, as well as trainers.

He said: “We were going well before the World Cup but it has helped, it’s not just sales of sports shirts but sales of clothes as people go into summer mode and go down the pub and to barbecues.”

Investec analyst Kate Calvert said: “A good England football performance would be the icing on the cake in the first half.”

Cowgill said its outdoor division, which includes camping chains Blacks and Millets, is “in recovery mode” but is improving and could benefit from the forthcoming music festival season. He said he is making progress while its fashion arm experienced a “turbulent” performance.

Last month chief executive Barry Bown, made a surprise exit after 14 years in post. However, Bown insisted there had been no fall out with executive chairman Peter Cowgill, who will continue to lead the business. Bown returns as a consultant next week.

However, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Freddie George called for a replacement for Bown. “Peter Cowgill is now over 60. The company does have a decentralised management structure but, in our view, does need a ‘figure-head’,” he said.