Photographer: AP Photo

JD Sports Shares Hit Record High as Profit Set to Beat Estimates

JD Sports Fashion Plc, one of the U.K’s leading sportswear retailers, rose to the highest since the company’s 1996 initial public offering after saying profit will be ahead of analysts’ projections.

Pretax profit for the full 2015 financial year will be 10 percent above estimates of about 110 million pounds ($171 million), the Bury, England-based company said in a statement. Sales received a “big tailwind from the footwear market,” said Jonathan Pritchard, an analyst at Peel Hunt.

“Trainers are bang-on trend, both in and out of the gym,” Pritchard said in a note. “JD is taking full advantage of this trend.”

By offering exclusive ranges from Adidas AG and Nike Inc., JD is catching the coattails of a shift by consumers toward smart, sporty shoes and apparel. The retailer is being encouraged to expand, and plans to open 30 new outlets this year, including a venture into Belgium.

The shares rose as much as 9.2 percent to a record 815.5 pence and were up 7.8 percent as of 1:38 p.m.

The earnings performance is being achieved in the face of a squeeze on profitability caused the weakness of the euro, JD Sports said in the statement.

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