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MARKET REPORT: JD Sports to open 1,750 stores within five years

Expansion plans: JD Sports said it would spend almost £3billion to open up to 1,750 stores over the next five years

Shares of JD Sports soared after the ‘king of coaches’ unveiled major global expansion plans.

JD said it would spend nearly £3billion to open up to 1,750 stores over the next five years.

Boss Regis Schultz, who took over in September, hailed “a new chapter” of growth and expressed his ambition to tap into markets where he is not yet as competitive. Much of the investment will be in the United States and throughout Europe.

JD aims to generate £1bn of cash every year from its operating activities. The shares climbed 11.2%, or 18.2p, to 181.5p.

London’s stock market rose on hopes that interest rate hikes may end soon.

Expansion plans: JD Sports said it would spend almost £3billion to open up to 1,750 stores over the next five years

Expansion plans: JD Sports said it would spend almost £3billion to open up to 1,750 stores over the next five years

The FTSE 100 rose 0.76%, or 59.05 points, to 7820.16 and the FTSE 250 rose 3.6%, or 716.15 points, to 20614.69.

The rally took the top-tier index closer to its all-time high of 7877. Meanwhile, the second-tier posted its best performance since August. Builders made gains on hopes that borrowing costs could now peak or approach it.

Khaki rose 8.6%, or 125.6p, to 1,531p while Taylor Wimpey added 6.7%, or 7.9p, to 126.5p and Barratt rose 4.4%, or 20.4p , at 484.1p.

The rally also lifted consumer stocks, with Asos jumping 10.2%, or 90.5p, to 982p. Currys rose 12%, or 8.4p, to 78.2p and shopping center owner Hammerson rose 9.7%, or 2.58p, to 29.21p.

Shares of Wizz Air soared after the airliner carried more than 4 million passengers last month, up 73.1% from a year earlier. It climbed 8.4%, or 223p, to 2875p.

And Bunzl, which supplies products such as paper towels and latex gloves to the private and public sectors, has renewed a contract with US retail giant Walmart. It rose 2.9%, or 86p, to 3066p.

GSK edged up 0.6%, or 7.8p, to 1,427.4p as US regulators approved its tablet for adults on dialysis who live with anemia due to chronic kidney disease.

Stock Watch – Xpediator

Xpediator rose 4%, or 1.5p, to 39.5p after the freight manager reassured investors of a potential takeover.

An offer at 42 pence a share was filed in December by a consortium including investment vehicle Cogels, led by its ex-boss Stephen Blyth.

He said he was likely to accept a formal offer if it arrived by February 14.

He expects revenue for 2022 to have reached almost £400m, up from £297m in 2021.

Full-year profit is expected to top previous guidance by £9m.

Pearson added 2.6%, or 23.8p, to 935.4p after striking a deal to run English tests for immigrants settling in Canada.

Investors in Essentra cheered after the components business unveiled plans to return £150m to shareholders – a special dividend of £90m accompanied by a share buyback of around £60m pounds following the sale of the company’s filters and packaging divisions. The shares gained 8.7%, or 19p, to 238p.

NCC Group plunged 4.5%, or 8.2p, to 176.2p after the cybersecurity specialist warned of weaker revenue growth this year.

Revenue rose 10.2% to £176.6m in the six months to November. But it predicts single-digit revenue growth for 2023.

NCC also said it wanted to reduce its workforce by 7%. The group, which employs around 2,500 people, said most of the job cuts would be made in the UK and North America.

The Anglo American miner has made progress in ramping up production at a mine in Peru which produced more than 80,000 tonnes of copper in the three months to December.

Copper production jumped 52% to 244,300 tonnes during the period. It also increased its production of rough diamonds, steelmaking coal and iron ore. The shares were flat at 3387p.

Meanwhile, Cranswick took advantage of families spending more on Christmas food.

The meat producer reported strong trading for the 13 weeks until Dec. 24. The shares rose 4.2%, or 132p, to 3,272p.

Engineer Renishaw gained 6.7%, or 260p, to 4,132p ​​after record half-year earnings. Revenue rose 7% to £347.7m in the six months to December.

Profit fell 5% to £77.8m. It expects revenue at the end of its financial year to be between £690m and £730m, with profit in the range of £140m to £165m.

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