Profits leap at Sports Direct

The sportswear giant Sports Direct has continued to show its troubled rival JJB Sports a clean pair of heels by boosting profits and sales, which it said "further validated our resilient business model" against the tough consumer backdrop.

Sports Direct, which is controlled by its founder, Mike Ashley, increased retail gross profit by 13.3 per cent to £119m, on sales up 12.1 per cent to £296m for the nine weeks to 25 September. The group said it was "confident" of hitting the full-year target of £215m of underlying profits.