Page last updated at 08:16 GMT, Thursday, 10 December 2009

Sports Direct raises earnings forecast

Sports World carrier bag
Sports World is the firm's main retail brand

Sports goods retailer Sports Direct has raised its forecast for underlying annual earnings to "at least" £155m.

However, the firm reported a 40.8% fall in pre-tax profits to £57.8m for the six months to 25 October, which it said was due to foreign exchange movements.

Sports Direct, which is controlled by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, owns Sports World stores, as well as brands such as Slazenger and Dunlop,

The firm also said it had cut its net debt to £362m from £431.3m in April.

"We are pleased with our performance in the first half of this year, when conditions remained challenging," said chief executive Dave Forsey.

"We achieved this result through offering our customers the best products at the best prices, controlling costs and reducing debt."

UK retail revenues climbed by 14.9% to £687.7m and international retail sales were up £22.8m to £63.6m.

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