The John David Group bucked the trend in the British sports retail business by reporting a same-store sales increase of 9.9 percent for the 25 weeks ended on July 21 as an average for all its sports stores. Since its fashion stores have stopped their slide and posted a 1.7 percent sales increase for the period, sales for the group as a whole rose by 9.4 percent on a comparable basis.

While Sports Direct declined to specify the variation in its store sales on a comparable basis, JD has apparently fared better than its two rivals, partly due to the fact that it sold few football replica shirts during the same period last year, unlike JJB Sports and Sports World. It also benefited from an earlier sale clearance period. The weak dollar and an enlarged proportion of private label sales further lifted the company’s gross margin.

The John David Group has continued to clean up its store portfolio, after multiple acquisitions over the last years, closing 14 sports stores and 4 fashion stores, while opening just 3 sports stores in the 25 weeks.

Providing this trading update at its annual shareholders’ meeting last month, the board was confident that it would at least achieve current market expectations but it predicted a tougher second half, due to rising interest rates and the growing number of mono-brand stores opened by the leading sports brands that drive JD’s sales.