Retailer Sports Direct says it is on track to hit its profits target, triggering an estimated £10.8 million pay-out for staff through its bonus scheme, after sales growth accelerated.
The sportswear chain, which owns more than 350 stores in the UK, said it will reach its underlying profits goal of £205 million in the year to April after sales soared 12% to £416 million in the 13 weeks to January 23 and the strong performance continued into February.
Under the terms of the bonus scheme, some 2,000 of its staff will receive up to 75% of their salary paid in shares, if the group meets its target for the year to April after hitting the previous year’s figure.
Sales growth has sped up since half-year results revealed an 8% rise in revenues, as the Nottinghamshire-based company – controlled by Mike Ashley, the owner of Newcastle Football Club – benefited from heavy promotions, while its rival JJB Sports struggled.
Shares were up almost 5% after the announcement in which the company also revealed that gross profits rose 8% to £167 million in the quarter.