Record profits for JJB’s rival

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THE acquisition of 20 JJB stores by Sports Direct has helped the retailer register record profits.

Wigan based JJB went into administration in October and their rival, run by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, took on the stores and their Martland Mill headquarters in a pre-pack administration deal.

Sports Direct said half-year revenues were up 22.5 per cent to more than £1 billion and pre-tax profits rose to £125.2 million with the summer of sporting success playing a role in the increase.

Chief Executive Dave Forsey, said: “There is no doubt Team GB’s outstanding performance has helped increase the awareness and popularity of sport across the UK and that we have maintained our position as the consumers’ champion.”

JJB’s last remaining Wigan store on Robin Park remains empty as no further deals to take over the stores not taken on by Sports Direct have been confirmed.

The company, formed by DW Sports owner Dave Whelan, is still available as a brand as Sports Direct’s deal only included the 20 stores and its website, not the rights to the brand name.

More than 130 of the remaining stores in the JJB portfolio were closed after the company went into administration with the loss of around 2,200 jobs, including the 28 staff who were made redundant from the Robin Park outlet.

A spokesman for the retail chain’s administrators, KPMG, said that they continue to receive interest in the remainder of the portfolio. Although stock suppliers such as Adidas, Nike and Umbro were left out of pocket to the amount of £30m when the stricken company finally slid into administration.

Former employees who suffered hardship as a result of the collapse of JJB are urged to contact charity the Fashion and Textile Children’s Trust - www.ftct.org.uk