RNS Number : 2924H

JD Sports Fashion Plc

24 March 2020

24 March 2020

JD Sports Fashion Plc

COVID-19 Update

JD Sports Fashion Plc (the 'Group') is providing an update today on the impact of COVID-19 on its business, along with the measures it is taking to actively manage the risks to its customers, colleagues and operations.

As of now, essentially all of our stores are closed in UK, United States and Europe. In a typical week, at this time of the year, we would expect the stores which are closed to contribute substantially all of the Group's physical store sales.

Whilst our trading websites continue to accept and fulfil orders and, whilst we have seen a resilient performance to date in most territories, this represents a comparatively small mitigation in terms of overall profit contribution.

As would be expected, we are pursuing a number of measures to preserve capital across all aspects of our business and thereby limit the level of cash burn. In this regard, the Board welcomes the various public sector initiatives which have been announced to date in the territories where it operates.

At this stage, given the current uncertainty and the potential for further government action where our fascias are still able to trade, the Board does not believe it appropriate to provide financial guidance for the current financial year ending 30 January 2021. Further, the Board notes the request from the Financial Conduct Authority over the weekend for all listed companies to observe a moratorium on the publication of Preliminary Financial Statements ('Results) for at least two weeks. Given the potential for this request to be extended beyond this initial period, which would then cover the Group's previously published reporting date of 15 April 2020, we believe it is prudent to announce a delay now to the publication of the Group's Results for the period to 1 February 2020. We will announce a revised date for the publication of the Results in due course but, at this stage, we would anticipate that this revised date will be in the second half of May. This revised date would also allow the Group to provide greater clarity of the impact of COVID-19 on the Group's performance for the current year to 30 January 2021.

The Board is satisfied that the combination of a strong balance sheet, net cash resources and the substantial working capital facilities available to the Group in its various territories are more than adequate to meet the cash deficiencies which may reasonably be anticipated during the closure periods in our various territories.

Peter Cowgill said:

"Along with everyone else, the Group is experiencing major disruption to our business operations as we seek to protect our colleagues and customers from the effects of COVID-19. Their safety remains our number one priority and we continue to take all appropriate action in line with government advice in our various territories.

"JD continues to offer a market leading, multichannel proposition in Sports Fashion Retail and we are confident that we will emerge from the current challenges in a strong position to resume our previous positive momentum."

 JD Sports Fashion Plc       Tel: 0161 767 1000 
 Peter Cowgill, Executive Chairman 
 Neil Greenhalgh, Chief Financial Officer 
 Jennifer Iveson, Investor Relations 
 MHP Communications          Tel: 0203 128 8193 
 Andrew Jaques 
 Giles Robinson 
 Charles Hirst 
 Catherine Chapman 

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 24, 2020 03:00 ET (07:00 GMT)

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