JJB hopes to score with World Cup sales

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The Independent Online

Keith Jones, the new chief executive of JJB Sports, will provide his first insight into the retail chain's recovery strategy on Thursday, when it is expected to post a loss of nearly £70m for the year to January.

The retailer, which completed a series of restructuring measures last year to stave off collapse, will also provide an update on the improved trading it reported on 25 March, which is largely being driven by the full restocking of products in its shops.

JJB will also receive a further boost to trading from next month's World Cup, particularly if England have a strong run in the competition.

However, Mr Jones, who took the helm on 1 March, is likely to warn the City that the retailer's recovery will not be quick or easy.

Last week, Jean Roche, an analyst at Panmure Gordon, said: "We understand that JJB returned to a full stocked position in April, just in time to benefit from product sales related to this summer's World Cup. The real prize, however, is in the long game: the 2012 Olympic Games are likely to entail sustainable growth in sports-related spending in the UK."

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