JJB unveils profit warning and chairman and profit warning dampen

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The Independent Online

JJB Sports has hired Bob Corliss, an American with extensive experience of sports goods retailing, to take over as chairman from Mike McTighe in September.

The troubled retailer revealed the new appointment as it warned profits would be hit by disappointing sales of England football shirts at the European Championships and the recent wet weather. Its shares sank 26 per cent to 7.375p.

Dick's Sporting Goods, the US chain and investor which could take control of JJB next year with a stake of up to 61 per cent, recommended Mr Corliss, who will initially join as deputy chairman, to the UK retailer. Mr Corliss is the current president of the US clothing firm Robert Talbott and the former chief executive of The Athlete's Foot chain. He will remain based in the US and is only committed to JJB for five to 10 days a month from September. It is understood that JJB will fund his travel and accommodation costs in the UK.

JJB, which has had a crisis-stricken four years, said that since 1 April it had suffered a "deterioration in trading performance against management expectation, particularly during May and June when the expected peak in sales of replica football kits and associated products generated from consumer interest in the European Football Championships did not materialise to the extent anticipated".

JJB said its recent trading problems had been "further exacerbated by the poor early summer weather", which led to its like-for-like sales tumbling by 8 per cent over the 22 weeks to 1 July.