The Pentland Group saw its sales advance by 10 percent to £2.4 billion (€2.8m-$3.1m) in 2015, driven by the outstanding performance of JD Sports Fashion, the European retail group in which it owns a 57 percent stake.
The Retail Division of the Pentland Group, comprising JD Sports Fashion, thus raised its turnover by 13 percent to £1.8 billion (€2.1m-$2.3m) in 2015, chiefly through increased sales of the core JD Sports stores.
As reported in detail earlier this year, JD Sports Fashion's operating profits increased sharply as the core sports fashion stores benefited from the buoyant market for branded athletic footwear and apparel across Western Europe. The retail group's outdoor stores made encouraging progress as well, with Blacks and Millets stores returning to breakeven. The improvement in margins was partly achieved through reduced levels of discounting on autumn/ winter ranges. JD Sports Fashion expanded again this year by acquiring assets of Unlimited Sports Group, the Dutch-based wholesaler and retailer that owned the Perry Sport and Aktiesport banners in the Netherlands, among many other assets.
Pentland Brands and other non-retail activities in the Pentland Group raised their turnover by 2 percent to £629 million (€736m-$817m), as the British company continued to expand its brands with top retailers in international priority markets.
Among the standouts was the Canterbury brand, which became part of the group four years ago and achieved record-breaking sales on the back of the Rugby World Cup held in England. The brand is worn by the national teams in England, Ireland and Japan, and the official apparel partner for the British and Irish Lions 2017 tour of New Zealand.
The Pentland group said that Speedo achieved strong sales and record profits in 2015, despite some unfavorable exchange rates. The latest competition range enabled Speedo to expand in the U.S. and many other international markets. Speedo should get yet more exposure this year with a strong lineup of athletes competing at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
On the footwear side, Kickers performed well and Ted Baker footwear achieved double-digit sales growth to deliver a record turnover in 2015. The Pentland group pointed to robust demand in department stores and online sales, and strong performance in the U.S. market.
The entire Pentland group's operating profit was up by 36 percent to £220m (€258m-$286m) in 2015. The group ended the year with net cash of £300 million (€351-$390m), up from £202 million (€236m-$262m) at the end of 2014, and net assets up by 17 percent to £791 million (€926m-$1,027m).