Britain's JD Sports reinstates dividend as online boom lifts forecast

JD Sports performed well during the pandemic and has embarked on at least three big acquisitions in the US and Europe

  
A JD Sports store is seen boarded up in Oxford Street, London, Britain, June 7, 2020.

A JD Sports store is seen boarded up in Oxford Street, London, Britain, June 7, 2020.

Reuters/Hannah McKay

Britain's biggest sportswear retailer JD Sports resumed dividends on Tuesday and forecast higher profit for the current financial year as most stores reopened this week from the coronavirus-led lockdown while online sales continued to surge.

JD Sports performed well during the pandemic and has embarked on at least three big acquisitions in the United States and Europe in the past few months. More deals are expected to follow after the company raised 464 million pounds ($638.00 million) in equity in February.

The online retailer, known for its sneakers and athleisure products, also said it has signed a letter of intent with Clipper Logistics for e-fulfilment and warehousing as it expects online sales to remain elevated for the foreseeable future.

Britain's departure from the European Union, however, had caused some disruptions from customs checks on transfer of goods from the UK to EU countries, the sportswear retailer said. It will open a warehouse in Dublin that will be operational in the second half of this year in order to fulfill online orders in Ireland.

JD expects headline profit before tax for the full year through January 2022 to come in the range of 475 million pounds to 500 million pounds. It reported a profit of 421.3 million pounds for the year ended Jan. 31, 2021.

The company is proposing a dividend of 1.44 pence per share after strong profitability in the United States.

($1 = 0.7273 pounds)

(Reporting by Vishwadha Chander and Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips) ((Vishwadha.Chander@thomsonreuters.com; outside U.S. +91 7506036802;))

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