The stellar performance of JD Sports Fashion, whose revenues grew by 49.2 percent to £4.72 billion (€5.25bn-$5.88bn) in the financial year ended last Feb. 2, helped its controlling shareholder, Pentland Group, to record an overall increase in revenues of 38.9 percent to £5.1 billion (€5.7bn-$6.4bn) for its financial year ended on Dec. 31.
Group operating earnings before amortization of intangibles and exceptional items rose by 9.3 percent to £411 million (€457.0m-$512.3m) for Pentland in 2018. As reported, JD's Ebitda before exceptional items reached a record level of £488.4 million (€543.0m-$608.8m) in its latest financial year, which included the important month of January.
Pentland's net assets grew by 31.0 percent to £1.7 billion (€1.9bnm-$2.1bn). In the past year, the group earned its sixth Queen's Award for Enterprise in recognition of its outstanding record in international trade.
The balance of Pentland's revenues came largely from its brands division, Pentland Brands, which includes important brands like Berghaus, Ellesse, Speedo and Canterbury. No details could be obtained about the turnover of Pentland Brands. The group indicated that at least two of its brands – Ellesse and Speedo – have being doing better than before. Ellesse continued to grow strongly, recording double-digit growth globally and introducing a footwear line in the U.S. Pentland also reported strong revenue growth for Speedo, including a 40 percent increase in China.
Besides, the structure of the division changed considerably last year. As previously reported, Pentland formed a joint venture with Lacoste at the beginning of 2018 that took over its 26-year-old Lacoste footwear license held by the British company, which was generating annual revenues of around £200 million (€222.4m-$249.3m) at wholesale (SGI Europe Vol. 29 N° 1+2 of Jan. 15, 2018).
Among other investments, Pentland Brands acquired an innovative cycling brand, Endura, in the past year. It also sold its Ted Baker footwear subsidiary to the brand's owner, but it became the global footwear licensee for another British brand, Karen Millen.
The group noted that Canterbury will enjoy high visibility at the Rugby World Cup starting in Tokyo on Sept. 20. It will be kitting out the teams of England, Ireland, Japan, Georgia, Canada, U.S. and Russia at the tournament.