JD Sports has posted a record result for its first half with pre-tax profit before exceptional items coming in at £439.5 million compared to £61.9 million in 2019 and £158.6 million two years ago.

The sportswear retailer saw a significant contribution from the US where aggregate pre-tax profit before exceptional items rose to £245 million from £73.4 million in the same period last year. This included a £72.9 million contribution from its recently acquired Shoe Palace and DTLR businesses.

JD’s core business in the UK and Republic of Ireland also performed well with pre-tax profit before exceptional items rising to £170.8 million from £52 million in 2020 and £114.9 million in 2019. The company said it benefited from strong retention of sales through digital channels whilst its stores were temporarily closed  during the Covid-19 lockdown, as well as from pent-up demand when shops re-opened.

Meanwhile. sales in the first half climbed to over £3.8 billion from £2.5 billion at the same time last year.

Peter Cowgill, JD Sports executive chairman, said: “The group continues to demonstrate outstanding resilience in the face of numerous challenges arising from the continued prevalence of the Covid-19 pandemic in many countries, widespread strain on international logistics and other supply chain challenges, materially lower levels of footfall into stores in many countries after reopening and the ongoing administrative and cost consequences resulting from the loss of tariff free, frictionless trade with the European Union. Given these challenges, the record result that the group has delivered in the first half with a profit before tax and exceptional items of £439.5 million  is extremely encouraging.”