JD Sports rides the ‘athleisurewear’ trend to booming profits – Telegraph.co.uk

JD Sports’ stock has stormed to record highs after the sportswear retailer smashed analysts’ forecasts with an 80pc leap in profits and drew a line under a controversy relating to conditions at its main warehouse.

Shares in the sportswear giant jumped by more than 8pc to value the company at £4.3bn as it proved it was capitalising on the booming “athleisurewear” trend, which has driven demand for trainers and tracksuits that can be worn outside the gym.

Peter Cowgill, executive chairman, said the sportswear revival was  a “cultural shift” that was driven by “Instagram, selfies and a rising gym culture”. “There are more low-cost budget gyms than ever before and people have become more casual,” he said. “You see them wearing trainers in urban bars and restaurants”. 

JD Sports posted an 81pc jump in pre-tax profits to £238.4m for the 52 weeks ended January 28, compared to £131.6m in the previous year.  Sales rose by a third to £2.4bn from £1.8bn, helped by 53 new shops opening across Europe.

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