Sports Direct posts sales rise as FTSE 100 debut nears

Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's biggest sporting goods retailer Sports Direct (LSE:SPD) posted an 18.2 percent rise in first quarter sales on Wednesday, sustaining a strong performance that is set to lift it into the UK's leading share index.

The firm, controlled by billionaire Newcastle United football club owner Mike Ashley, said trading in the 13 weeks to July 28 had been ahead of its expectations with group sales of 613.3 million pounds versus 519 million a year earlier.

Gross profit increased 23.2 percent to 260.1 million pounds with quarterly retail sales that were up 14.5 percent.

Later on Wednesday the company is set to be promoted to the FTSE 100 (.FTSE) share index after its share price jumped to all-time highs following a 40 percent surge in profit in July.

(Reporting by Neil Maidment; editing by Jason Neely)

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