The Pentland Group has reported a 21 percent increase in total revenues to £2.9 billion (€3.2bn-$3.8bn) in 2016, driven by the ongoing expansion of JD Sports Fashion, the U.K.-based sports, outdoor and fashion retailing group in which it has majority control.
The group's operating profit jumped by 50 percent to £331 million (€370.4m-$432.5m), up from £220 million in the previous year, pushing Pentland's operating margin well beyond the 10 percent threshold. The net year-end cash pile grew to £375 million (€419.6m-$490.1m) from £300 million. Net assets increased by 32 percent to £1,044 million (€1,168.2m-$1,364.3m).
The contribution from JD's sales went up by 28 percent to £2.3 billion (€2.6bn-$3.0bn). As previously reported, JD's operating profit grew by 56 percent to £246 million (€275.3m-$321.4m).
The group's revenues from Pentland Brands' portfolio and other non-retail businesses went up by one percent to £634 million (€709.5m-$828.3m).
A press release by the company said that Pentland Brands performed strongly by building its presence in priority markets and strengthening relationships with retailers and other partners. Under its new management, Pentland Brands was reorganized last year into two divisions – Active and Footwear – simplifying relations with business partners and helping to better integrate new brands.
Among the highlights of the year, Speedo switched to a direct-to-consumer model in China. It terminated its master licensing deal with Symphony Holdings for China and Taiwan. Symphony has already reported that it will start to work for Arena in China this year.
According to Pentland's press release, Ellesse and Ted Baker footwear performed particularly well last year. The favorable trend in sports fashion helped Ellesse to book another strong year, with sales rising by 45 percent.
In team sports, Canterbury and Mitre delivered strong growth with their key trading partners. Ted Baker footwear achieved sales growth of 6 percent across all U.K. channels, U.S. department stores and e-commerce. Pentland's release didn't mention Berghaus, the group's major outdoor brand, but the management said it performed well.