Among the many uncertainties of the World Cup - can England get out of the group stages, are Spain now a busted flush, will there be a worse match than Iran versus Nigeria? - JD Sports Fashion has added another.
It has issued a positive trading update, saying it expected a satisfactory increase in first half profitability in line with expectations. But what about the boost from replica kit sales et al ahead of the feast of football in Brazil? Here's the news:
The build up to the World Cup has enhanced the trading performance of our most significant segment of the business, the sports fascias. As a consequence, precise like for like sales figures, at this stage, would be potentially misleading. However we are certainly pleased with the underlying performance of this segment in the period to date.
The market reaction leaves no doubt this is a good result for the company. Its shares have jumped 58p to £16.84 and Kate Calvert at Investec said:
After a knockout 2014, JD Sports reports a pleasing start to the year. The team feels giving sales numbers would be misleading as the World Cup build up has enhanced the Sports division's performance. Outdoor is described as 'positive progress' and fashion 'varied but encouraging'. Our 2015 forecasts feel firmly underpinned with risk already on the upside. A good England football performance would be the icing on the cake in the first half. Valuation looks undemanding given International growth potential. Reiterate buy.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010