The French sporting goods retailer reports sales drops of 8.9 percent in France and 1.7 percent in Poland on a comparable store basis and in constant currencies for its full-line Go Sport stores during the fourth quarter of 2009. For the full year, there was a decline of 3.7 percent in France and an increase of 1.8 percent in Poland.

In absolute terms, Go Sport’s sales fell by 6.0 percent in France and by 3.2 percent in Poland during the quarter. In both countries, the fall in value was partly due to a higher proportion of private-label items. In France, the footfall dropped during the quarter, but the performance of the banner improved in the last two weeks of December.

One bright spot was an improvement in the sales of Courir, the athletic footwear chain of Groupe Go Sport. After steady declines in recent times, they grew by 4.9 percent in absolute terms and by 2.0 percent on a comparable basis in the fourth quarter, thanks to important measures taken by the chain’s new management. The footwear range has been revisited and it has been accompanied by a much wider range of textiles than before.

This didn’t prevent Courir from posting sales declines of 6.7 percent in absolute terms and 9.0 percent on a same-store basis for the full year, down to €147.0 million. For the Go Sport chain, full-year sales declined on a comparable basis by 3.7 percent in France and increased by 1.8 percent in Poland. In absolute terms, they fell by 2.8 percent to €489.9 million in France and by 13.5 percent to €39.4 million in Poland, where the decline in the value of the zloty affected the sales results in euros.

As a group, the company recorded declines in its total revenues of 3.9 percent to €166.8 million for the quarter and of 4.5 percent to €693.8 million for the year. Data on profitability will be announced on Feb. 12. The company ended the year with a network of 387 stores – 178 for Go Sport and 208 for Courir.