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The Top 10 Richest People in Fashion 2017

Business Intelligence London - The fashion industry may be an ever-changing industry, but one aspect has remained constant over the past decade - the influence of fast-fashion retailer Zara. The man behind the world’s leading fashion company Inditex, Amancio Ortega, transformed the industry’s mass-market model for good with the launch of his famed fast-fashion chain and secured his place as the wealthiest man in the industry. Currently ranked as the richest man in the fashion industry, and the 4th wealthiest man in the world, Ortega holds a net worth of 71.3 billion US dollars in 2017 - which is close to 30 billion US dollars more than the second richest man in fashion, Bernard Arnault.

FashionUnited’s Top 10 Wealthiest People in Fashion 2017

Known as the man behind luxury goods group LVMH, Arnault is also an avid art collector, as well as CEO of the company and the wealthiest man in France, with a net worth of 41.5 billion US dollars. The success of both these entrepreneurs underlines the potential success offered by the industry’s lower-end and higher-end of the market. But which other business men and women have made their fortunes in fashion? Who saw their net worth rise, and who saw their worth decline in 2017? FashionUnited takes a closer look at the top ten richest people in fashion, and their net worth over the years in the charts below, based on FashionUnited’s Top 100 Index, published on June 26, 2017.

The Top 10 Wealthiest People in Fashion in 2017

The annual Net Worth of the Top 10 Richest People in Fashion 2017

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Photo left to right: Amancio Ortega, by http://www.signalng.com/ [CC BY-SA 4.0 ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Bernard Arnault, by Jérémy Barande / Ecole polytechnique Université Paris-Saclay, via Wikimedia Commons

Hermes posts 11 percent revenue growth in H1

The Hermes Group's consolidated revenues amounted to 2,713 million euros (3,161 million dollars) in the first six months of 2017, up 11 percent at current exchange and 10 percent at constant exchange rates. The company said, group's stores posted an 11 percent increase in sales, in all the geographical areas and growth was also sustained in the second quarter with 9 percent rise at current exchange and 8 percent at constant exchange rates.

Hermes reports sales growth across geographies

During the first six months, the company said revenue rose in all the geographical areas worldwide. Sales in Asia excluding Japan increased 14 percent, driven particularly by continental China. Japan posted a 3 percent revenue rise, despite the strengthening of the yen. Sales in America improved 9 percent, while Europe reported a 7 percent increase benefitting from store openings and extensions in Rome in October, and London and Munich in March. France, Hermes said posted a good increase in group stores.

12 percent sales growth in leather goods and saddler, the company said, was sustained due to the collections and the diversity of models. The development was supported by the sustained pace of production and the increase in capacities at the three new sites in Charente, Isère and Franche-Comté. In June, the group opened two new production sites, the Maroquinerie de Normandie and the Ganterie-Maroquinerie in Saint-Junien.

The ready-to-wear and accessories division posted 10 percent sales rise, driven by the success of the ready-to-wear collections as well as jewellery accessories and shoes. The silk and textiles business line saw 6 percent sales increase.

The perfumes division witnessed sales growth of 8 percent, while the revenues of watches business line decreased by 1 percent, penalised by a still challenging market, but showed a slight upturn in the second quarter. Other Hermès business lines improved 13 percent, which encompass jewellery, Art of Living and Hermès table arts.

Picture:Hermes website

Convent Garden reports rise in net rental income

During the six months ended June 30, 2017, Capco said that the company further strengthened its financial position reducing loan to value to 18 percent and increasing available liquidity to 577 million pounds (749 million dollars). The total property value of the group increased 0.2 percent like-for-like to 3.5 billion pounds (4.5 billion dollars). The valuation of Covent Garden rose by 1.5 percent like-for-like to 2.4 billion pounds (3.1 billion dollars), driven by rental growth of 2.8 percent achieved over the period.

Commenting on the H1 update, Ian Hawksworth, Chief Executive of Capco, said in a media release: “Covent Garden which now represents two thirds of our business is established as a world class retail and dining destination and continues to deliver positive rental and value growth. There has been strong operational progress across the estate with 43 new leasing transactions signed during the period, including brands such as Kent & Curwen. Our ERV target of 125 million pounds by December 2020 remains in place, reflecting the positive growth prospects of the estate.”

Convent Garden performs well during H1

In the six months, Covent Garden’s ERV increased 2.8 percent like-for-like to 98.8 million pounds (128 million dollars) and the company said, ERV target of 125 million pounds (162 million dollars) by December 2020 remains in place. Capco said, Covent Garden’s rental growth prospects remain strong and the estate is well placed to outperform the wider central London market due to its innovative repositioning strategy, its experiential approach to place-making and its global reputation.

During the period to 30 June 2017, 43 leasing transactions including new leases and renewals representing 6.6 million pounds (8.5 million dollars) of rental income per annum were transacted at 3.9 per cent above 31 December 2016 ERV. A new Zone A rent of over 700 pounds (909 dollars) per square foot for The Market Building was achieved this period. Net rental income was 23.4 million pounds (30.4 million dollars) for the first half of the year, up 7.4 percent like-for-like compared to the first half of 2016.

Convent Garden welcomes new luxury labels

Capco added that occupancy on the estate remains high at 97 percent. Building on the success of the gifting and luxury accessories strategy introduced last year, Capco has further strengthened its offering at the Royal Opera House Arcade through the signing of luxury sunglasses brand Linda Farrow which will offer a range of timeless frames, including a pair exclusive to Covent Garden. This addition joins the curated line-up of premium retailers already in the Arcade, including Mulberry, The Watch Gallery as well as N.PEAL and Tom Davies which are due to open shortly.

The latest signing to the Market Building is premium watch brand Daniel Wellington, who have chosen Covent Garden as the location for their first UK store. British heritage sportswear brand, Kent & Curwen, will open the brand’s first store under the partnership of Creative Director, Daniel Kearns and Business Partner, David Beckham later this year at 12 Floral Street. The place is anchored by both Paul Smith and British lifestyle concept Petersham Nurseries who will open within the Floral Court development.

Capco further said that the transformation of Henrietta Street continues with a strategy to create a new menswear and dining destination in London. Luxury men’s shoe brand, Cheaney and Parisian outerwear clothing concept K-Way opened stores at the beginning of the year. In addition, the latest signing to the street is eyewear brand Bailey Nelson.

Picture:Facebook/Convent Garden

​Rich List 2017: 3 Rising​ Billionaires ​making their Fortune in Fashion ​

Business Intelligence It is no big secret that Amancio Ortega, the man behind fashion giant Inditex, is the richest man in the fashion industry. Currently ranked as the 4th richest man in the world, the Spaniard is worth 71.3 billion US dollars - 15.3 billion US dollars more than Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, according to Forbes's Billionaires list. Ortega has managed to hold onto his ranking as the wealthiest man in the global fashion industry for a number of years, thanks to the runway success of his fast-fashion model Zara.

But Ortega is certainly not alone in carving out a fortune in fashion. Take Bernard Arnault for example, the man behind luxury conglomerate LVMH. Arnault saw his overall net value jumped from 33.9 billion US dollars in 2016,to 41.5 billion US dollars in 2017, thanks to the acquisition of couture house Christian Dior. In fact, there has been an increasing number of individuals making a fast buck - or quick billion - in fashion over the past year. But which fashion entrepreneurs have seen solid boost in their fashion emporiums and net value over the last year? We take closer look at three leading people in fashion, who saw a significant increase in their net worth in 2017, according FashionUnited’s Top 100 BI list, published on June 26.

Anders Holch Povlsen - Bestseller

Country: Denmark

Percentage increase from last year: 57.50%

Position on the list: 18

First up we have Anders Holch Povlsen, who is the owner and CEO of leading fashion retail group Bestseller. Known for its wide array of high street fashion chains, such as Jack & Jones, Vila and Vero Moda, the international family-owned company owns 20 individual fashion brands. Bestseller is present in more than 70 markets across Europe, the Middle East, North America, Latin America, Australia and India. Currently operating 2,700 branded chain stores across 38 markets around the world, in addition to 15,000 concessions, Bestseller rapidly expanded from the single store Povlsen parents opened in Ringkobing, Denmark in 1975.

Povlsen’s increasing net worth is linked to Bestseller growing sales, which reported a turnover of 3.5 billion US dollars in FY 2015/16. However, Povlsen also holds significant stakes in online fashion retailers Zalando and Asos, which continue to perform well. Bestseller remains the largest shareholder in British e-commerce platform Asos, holding a 29.16 percent share, in addition to a 10 percent stake in German Zalando. In addition, Povlsen also owns more than one percent of all the land in Scotland, through Wildland, a non-profit organisation the entrepreneur set up in order to purchase natural land and protect it.

Michel Leclercq - Decathlon

Country: France

Percentage increase from last year: 16.67%

Position on the list: 26

Michel Leclercq, founder of Decathlon, is another significant riser on this list. Leclercq first opened a small sportswear store in 1976, under the name Decathlon. Since then the sportings good chain has grown into one of the world’s biggest athletic retailers. With more than 900 stores around the world, Decathlon employs 60,000 people in 27 countries. The retailer, which offers a wide array of athletic wear, equipment and outdoor gear, opened its debut store during the boom in sporting federations and clubs, in the car park of the Auchan shopping centre in Englos.

Decathlon has seen a steady increase in sales since 2009, as consumers continue to invest in health, fitness and overall well-being. Therefore, it should come as little surprise that Decathlon reported a turnover 11.5 billion dollars before tax for FY16. In addition, Leclercrq, who holds a 40 percent stake in Decathlon, is the cousin of Gerard Mulliez, the patriarch of the famous French retail dynasty, so his success in the industry should come as no shock. Leclercq and his immediate family own 40 percent of the sporting goods company, while the extended Mulliez family hold another 40 percent.

Bernard Lewis - River Island

Country: Great Britain

Percentage increase from last year: 27.78%

Position on the list: 57

Bernard Lewis, the man behind Chelsea Girl, better known today as River Island, has enjoyed a 27.7 percent increase in his net worth over the last year. Lewis first started out in the industry selling knitting wool from The Wool Shop from an East London bomb site. He went on to launch his own store, under the name Lewis Separates, before rebranding under the name Chelsea Girl in 1965, and later on in 1988 as River Island.

Counting more than 350 stores around the world, with franchises in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, the high street fashion chain has managed to successfully tap into millennials shifting needs and keep pace with the changing trends. River Island achieves more than 1 billion US dollars in annual sales, and is overseen by Ben Lewis, Bernard Lewis’s nephew who first started out working in the company as a store manager in 1990. Ben Lewis has served as River Island CEO since 2010.

Honourable Mention: Sefik Yilmaz Dizdar

Country: Turkey

Position on the list: 98

New Entry in 2016 List

Sefik Yilmaz Dizdar, the man behind Turkey’s LC Waikiki deserves an honourable mention, as 2017 marks the first time he has been listed in FashionUnited’s Top 100 list. A manufacturer and retailer of ready-to-wear fashions and home items, LC Waikiki has set itself an admirable goal - to become one of the three most successful brands in Europe by 2023.

Founded by French designer Georges Amouyal and his partner in France in 1988, Yilmaz Dizdar and his partners, which include billionaire Mustafa Kucuk, acquired the fashion-lead business in 1997. Afterward, Yilmaz Dizdar and his partners decided to develop their own store chain to sell their products. Since then LC Waikiki has expanded to count over 750 stores in 36 countries including the Middle East and Southeast Asia, generating more than 2 billion US dollars in sales last year. Mustafa Kucuk's brother, Vahap Kucuk, is CEO and spokesman of LC Waikiki.

Homepage photo: via Pexels

Kinnevik NAV improves 3 percent, provides update on new investments

In trading update for the period January 1 to June 30, 2017, Kinnevik said NAV increased by 3 percent to 81.9billion Swedish krona (9.96 billion dollars), or 298 Swedish krona (36 dollars) per share, driven mainly by Zalando and Tele2. Adding back dividend paid of 2.2billion Swedish krona (267 million dollars), the value increase was 6 percent during the quarter. The company has announced the appointment of Georgi Ganev as CEO with effect from January 1, 2018.

“Continued high investment management activity combined with solid operating performance in our larger companies resulted in a 3 percent increase in our net asset value in the second quarter. We made a significant investment to become the largest shareholder in Com Hem, complementing our existing mobile and media companies in the Nordics, and successfully divested our remaining shares in Rocket Internet and Lazada. Our financial position is strong. we ended the quarter with a net debt position of 1 percent of our portfolio value,” said Joakim Andersson, the company’s acting CEO and CFO, in a press statement.

Kinnevik companies posts positive sales

On 18 July, Zalando announced preliminary results for the second quarter 2017, growing revenues by 19-21 percent to 1,091-1,109million euros (1,271-1,291 million dollars). The company expects to achieve an adjusted EBIT of 80-86million euros (93-100 million dollars) in the quarter, corresponding to a margin of 7.3-7.8 percent.

Zalando announced the launch of Zalando Zet, a new membership program that offers customised premium services like same day delivery, pick-up of returns on demand as well as additional benefits such as personal fashion advice or early access to sales.

Global Fashion Group (GFG) said number of active customers grew by 13 percent, totalling 9.6 million, NMV growth amounted to 17 percent and revenue growth amounted to 18 percent. The adjusted EBITDA margin improved by 11 percentage points to -13 percent, largely driven by path-to-profit initiatives.

On May 24, GFG announced a strategic partnership with Emaar Malls in the Middle East, whereby Emaar Malls acquired 51 percent of Namshi.

Qliro Group sales increased by 7 percent in the second quarter driven by an 18 percent increase in total GMV for CDON Marketplace and a 10 percent sales increase for Nelly. External merchant’s sales in CDON Marketplace grew by 83 percent and EBITDA improved by 23million Swedish krona (2.7 million dollars) to 36million Swedish krona (4.3 million dollars). QFS’ business volume increased by 34 percent during the second quarter.

Update on investment management activities

Kinnevik said total investments in the second quarter were 3.9billion Swedish krona (0.48 billion dollars), of which 3.7billion Swedish krona (0.45 billion dollars) was invested to acquire a 18.5percent stake in Com Hem.

The company also said that it gained total divestments of 3.1billion Swedish krona (0.38 billion dollars), which included 2.1billion Swedish krona (255 million dollars) from the sale of Kinnevik's remaining shareholding in Rocket Internet and 1 billion Swedish krona (115million dollars) from the sale of Kinnevik's remaining shareholding in Lazada. On July 21, the company announced an investment of 65million dollars in Betterment, increasing the ownership to 16 percent.

Picture:Facebook/Zalando

Swiss watchmaker Swatch said Friday that its profits rose in the first six months, but its performance was dampened by the strength of the Swiss franc.

​ "The overvalued Swiss franc dampened growth in the first half of the year," Swatch said in its first half report. "As in the previous year, the first half of 2017 was characterised by worldwide turbulence," the report said.

"However, the Swatch Group, with its 20 strong brands and its own retail network, is very well represented worldwide, and was therefore able to generate net sales of 3.7 billion Swiss francs (3.3 billion euros, $3.9 billion)."

That represented a fractional decline of 0.3 percent compared with the corresponding period a year earlier. At constant exchange rates, sales would have risen by 1.2 percent. Net profit grew by 6.8 percent to 281 million Swiss francs (254 million euros), slightly short of analysts' expectations.

Looking ahead, Swatch said it "anticipates very positive growth in local currency in the second half of the year. In addition to its already strong own retail business, wholesale should also develop positively." (AFP)

Skechers reports 17 percent jump in Q2 net sales

Second quarter net sales at Skechers increased 16.9 percent to 1.026 billion dollars, which the company attributed to a 6.4 percent increase in the company’s domestic wholesale business, an 18.6 percent increase in the company’s international wholesale business, and a 28 percent increase in its company-owned global retail business, which included comparable same store sales increases of 7.1 percent. Gross profit for the quarter was 488.3 million dollars, or 47.6 percent of net sales, compared to 416.3 million dollars, or 47.4 percent of net sales, for the same quarter last year.

“Second quarter net sales exceeded our expectations setting another record quarter, and making the first half of 2017 a new record with sales surpassing 2 billion dollars,” said David Weinberg, COO and CFO of Skechers in a media statement.

Review of the second quarter results

Earnings from operations were 86.3 million dollars or 8.4 percent of sales, a decrease of 14 percent over the second quarter of 2016. Net earnings decreased 19.7 percent to 59.5 million dollars, and diluted net earnings per share were 0.38 dollar.

The company said, general and administrative expenses for the second quarter increased 62.1 million dollars to 305.3 million dollars due to Skechers’ focus on long-term global growth, including 22.3 million dollars associated with the Company’s 68 additional domestic and international retail stores—31 of which were opened in the second quarter, and 26.2 million dollars to support its international growth, of which 16.9 million dollars was due to increased costs in China, 3.6 million dollars for the transition of its South Korean distributor to a joint venture, and 2.4 million dollars in Japan.

Highlights of the six month financial performance

Net sales for the fist six months, were 2.099 billion dollars and gross profit was 964.8 million dollars or 46 percent of net sales, and earnings from operations were 210.7 million dollars or 10.0 percent of net sales. Net earnings were 153.5 million dollars and diluted net earnings per share were 0.98 dollar per share.

Commenting on the positive trading, Robert Greenberg, Skechers Chief Executive officer, said: “In the international markets, we achieved double-digit growth in many countries worldwide—including Germany, Chile, India, China, and Australia. Skechers retail stores around the world now include 1,870 international stores of which 1,691 are third-party-owned locations. At quarter end, our total Skechers retail store count was 2,305, and included the opening of several key locations—Tokyo’s popular Shibuya district, the new Century City Mall in Los Angeles, a super store in Ontario Mills in Southern California, a store in New York’s SoHo, among others—and the relocation of our store on San Francisco’s Powell Street.”

Expects global sales to boost Q3 results

Based on these key indicators, the company believes it will achieve net sales in the third quarter in the range of 1.050 billion dollars to 1.075 billion dollars, which would represent a third quarter sales record, and earnings per share of 0.42 dollar to 0.47 dollar. This projection includes flat sales increases in the Company’s domestic wholesale business, and double-digit increases in its international wholesale business, and its global company-owned retail stores.

“Based on our global meetings in May and June, and our on-going domestic key account meetings at our corporate offices, plus our July sell-throughs, we believe that the record sales we experienced in the first six months will continue in the second half,” added Greenberg.

The company expects its capital expenditures for the remainder of 2017 to be approximately 35.0 million to 40 million dollars, which includes corporate office upgrades and an additional 35 to 40 company-owned retail store openings and several store remodels.

Picture:Facebook/Skechers

Shop Direct calls off plans for a potential sale of its business

UPDATE London - Plans for a potential sale of part, or all, of British online retail group Shop Direct, have been called off by the billionaire Barclay brothers, following ongoing political and economical uncertainty.

Frederick and David Barclay, who also own the Telegraph newspaper, issued a statement Thursday morning after reviewing their options for the future of the e-commerce giant, putting an end to a process which may have led to the sale of the Merseyside-based retailer.

Shop Direct scraps sale plans

"At the start of the year, the shareholders of Shop Direct decided to review a number of options for the business including a possible partial or full sale," read the statement. "At no point did the shareholders commit to a transaction, and retaining the business was always an explicit option given its significant growth potential."

Shop Direct calls off plans for a potential sale of its business

"In recent weeks it has become clear that the appetite of potential bidders has begun to change due to the uncertainty created in the post-election UK environment so the shareholders have decided not to pursue discussions further at this stage."

The owners of the online retailer, which operates Littlewoods, Very.co.uk and Very Exclusive, were reportedly seeking 3 billion pounds for the Shop Direct, and in discussion with a number of private equity firms. However, following the General election and increasing levels of political uncertainty, paired with concerns surrounding a drop in consumer confidence, the process has been called off.

Shop Direct calls off plans for a potential sale of its business

The statement comes one day after news emerged that three private equity firms where preparing to issue their final bids for Shop Direct. Apax Partners, BC Partners, and Hellman & Friedman were understood to making their last offers for Shop Direct, according to a report from Reuters.

Despite calling off its sale plans, the company is positive that it's e-commerce platforms will continue to do well in the meantime, adding: "Shop Direct continues to outperform the market delivering double-digit profit growth for the year ended 30 June 2017 and this strong trajectory is expected to continue."

The Barclay brothers first acquired Littlewoods from the Moores family back in 2002 for approximately 750 million pounds. Under the Shop Direct umbrella, the retailer has continued to grow, delivering a "double digit profit growth" for the year ended 30 June 2017.

1 Minute Recap of Shop Direct potential Sale plans

Photos: Littlewoods, Facebook
Quiz prepares for 200 million pound IPO

UPDATELondon - Fashion retailer Quiz is gearing up for its upcoming listing on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) on the London Stock Exchange, following news that its 102.7 million pound placing was successfully priced.

The placing price for is set at 161p per share, giving Quiz a market capitalization of 200 million pounds at admission to the stock market. The placing is predicted to raise a total of 102.7 million pounds of gross proceeds. 92.1 million pounds of the gross proceeds will be for the selling shareholders and 10.6 million pounds in gross proceeds will go towards the company, which will be used to accelerate the retailer's ongoing growth.

Following its listing on AIM, existing shareholders will hold approximately 48.7 percent of the company's enlarged share capital and directors will hold around 25.8 percent of its issued ordinary share capital. Quiz has applied the admission of its entire share capital on AIM and is expected to begin trading on July 28, at 8 am.

Quiz prepares for 200 million pound IPO

"Today’s announcement marks an exciting new phase in Quiz’s growth and development as a leading international omni-channel fast fashion brand," said Tarak Ramzan, founder and chief executive at Quiz in a statement. "We are confident that the Company’s admission to AIM will help Quiz to deliver it's clear omni-channel growth strategy and enable the brand to achieve its hugely exciting global potential."

Peter Cowgill, proposed non-executive chairman at Quiz, added: "I am delighted to be joining a company with such clear and exciting growth prospects and this has been reflected by the strong levels of investor interest received throughout this process. We are looking forward to achieving further growth and success for all stakeholders as a public company."

1 Minute recap of Quiz IPO plans

Photos: Courtesy of Quiz

Sports Direct reports 59 percent drop in annual profit

Sports Direct Group revenue for the year ending April 30, 2017 increased by 11.7 percent to 3,245.3million pounds (4,227 million dollars). Group underlying profit before tax decreased 58.7 percent to 113.7million pounds (148 million dollars), due to lower EBITDA and higher depreciation charges. Underlying EPS for the year decreased by 67.9 percent to 11.4p compared to 35.5p reported last year.

Commenting on the company’s preliminary results, Mike Ashley, Sports Direct’s Chief Executive, said in a statement: "As previously announced, the devaluation of Sterling against the US dollar has led to a significant impact on EBITDA and profits in FY17. Our results were also impacted by provisions and depreciation charges.”

Sports Direct Group EBITDA declines 28.5 percent

As expected, the company said, gross margin in the year decreased by 320 basis points from 44.2 percent to 41 percent due to the impact of the negative movement in the US dollar exchange rate against the pound and to an increase in provisioning for stock obsolescence. UK sports retail margin decreased by 330 basis points from 44.5 percent to 41.2 percent, while international sports retail decreased 160 basis points from 44.8 percent to 43.2 percent. Premium Lifestyle's gross margin decreased by 450 basis points from 42.1 percent to 37.6 percent, which the company said was also due to discounting of slow moving stock.

Sports Direct added that the group operating costs increased by 16.9 percent to 1,058.7million pounds (1,378 million dollars), as a result of the impact of increased onerous lease provisions cross Europe stemming from a review of poorly performing stores where the US dollar exchange rate has reduced margins. As a result, group-underlying EBITDA for the year was down 28.5 percent to 272.7million pounds (355 million dollars). UK sports retail underlying EBITDA was down 26.3 percent to 265.7million pounds, while international sports retail EBITDA loss increased to 19.1million pounds (24.8 million dollars) from 4.9million pounds (6.3 million dollars). Premium Lifestyle EBITDA was a 0.3million pounds (0.39 million dollars) loss from an EBITDA loss last year of 5.1million pounds (6.6 million dollars) and brands division underlying EBITDA decreased to 26.4million pounds (34.3 million dollars).

Revenues in the UK and international sports retail increase

The UK sports retail segment includes all of the group's sports retail store operations in the UK and Northern Ireland, all of the group's sports online business, fitness division, and Shirebrook campus operations. The segment accounts for 65.8 percent of group revenue. Revenues of the segment grew 6.3 percent to 2,136.4million pounds (2,782 million dollars), which include the full year of Heatons Northern Ireland stores. Excluding the impact of Heatons NI, UK sports retail revenue growth was 4.4 percent and excluding the 53rd week, the segment’s revenue growth was 4.5 percent. Excluding both Heatons NI and the 53rd week, revenue growth was 2.6 percent.

The company expects foreign currency effect on margin for FY18 is to stabilise based on all forecast purchases for FY18 being hedged at 1.31. UK sports retail like-for-like gross contribution, increased by 0.3 percent compared to the prior year. During the year, the company opened 15 new stores and closed 20.

International sports retail segment includes all of the group's sports retail store management and operations outside of the UK, including the group's retail distribution centres in Belgium and Austria. Revenue grew 38 percent to 665.6million pounds (866 million dollars), including the full year of Heatons Republic of Ireland stores. Excluding the impact of Heatons, international sports retail revenue growth was 7.4percent on a currency neutral basis.

International sports retail like-for-like gross contribution, decreased by 0.8 percent compared to the prior year. During the period the group impaired the brands acquired in the Heatons subsidiary, due to the on-going programme of re-branding to Sportsdirect.com. During the year, Sports Direct opened 21 new stores and closed 17.

The group's premium lifestyle division that offers a broad range of clothing, footwear and accessories from leading global, contemporary and luxury retail brands increased sales by 11.6 percent to 202.2million pounds (263 million dollars), mostly due to increased web sales. The brands portfolio that includes a wide variety of world-famous sport and lifestyle brands increased revenue by 4.1 percent to 241.1million pounds (313 million dollars). Wholesale revenues increased 2.4 percent to 201.4million pounds (261 million dollars), which the company said were due to growth in European and US wholesaling.

Licensing revenues in the year were up 14.1 percent to 39.7 million pounds (51.6 million dollars). During the year, the company signed 20 new licence agreements and renewed several existing licensees, covering multiple brands, product categories and geographies, with minimum contracted values of 20.1million pounds (26.1 million dollars) over the life of the agreements.

Picture:Sports Direct website