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JJB reveal further downturn in sales

JJB Sports have revealed that they are still seeing slow trading with like for like sales are 29 per cent down on last year.

Overall revenues, which last year included income from the fitness clubs which were sold to David Whelan in March, were 52 per cent lower in the 20 weeks to December 13.

The Wigan-based sportswear retailer, which was saved from administration by a company voluntary arrangement and a £100m fundraising earlier this year, said like for likes have shown “some improvement since the half year”.

JJB, where Microsoft founder Bill Gates' charitable foundation is now a minority shareholder, said in its statement today: “We are beginning to take delivery of the new stock with the result that the stock holding has improved since the half year when it was £50m (56 per cent lower than last year), and is now 19 per cent lower than the same period last year at £81m.

“We do not expect to receive our full stock package until the first quarter of 2010. Consequently we continue to be cautious about Christmas and New Year and expect that trading within the current environment will remain difficult.”

JJB said it had used some of the £94m net proceeds from its new equity issue to pay off Bank of Scotland's £30.5m loan, which has been replaced with a three-year £25m facility which expires on September 30, 2012.

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