Sports Direct upbeat on new stores, takes full control of Flannels
Sports Direct’s chairman Keith Hellawell survived a shareholder attempt to oust him on Wednesday at its AGM, but the key news was that the firm is upbeat, issued a strong trading update and now fully owns Flannels.
It said trading in its new generation flagship stores “continues to exceed our expectations as Sports Direct moves towards the 'Selfridges' of sport” goal that the company has frequently referred to as it works to build a more premium organisation.
The company said it is continuing to “elevate” its store portfolio in the UK and elsewhere, typically through relocating smaller format stores to new generation stores in order to “elevate our retail space and improve the experience for both our customers and our third party brand partners.”
Its outlook remains optimistic in line with the statement it gave in July and it still expects to achieve between 5% and 15% growth in underlying Ebitda during FY18.
CEO Mike Ashley also said that the company now fully owns luxury omnichannel retailer Flannels. There had been reports earlier this week that the firm had taken its 50% stake to “over 75%” but it seems that it has actually dived in head first and taken complete control.
“The board anticipates this acquisition will significantly enhance earnings in our Premium Lifestyle division in the medium-to-long term,” it said, adding that Flannels founder Neil Prosser will remain an integral part of the division.
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