John David Group, owner of JD Sports, increased annual pretax profits by more than 50% in the year to 27 January. Financial Times

However, Peter Cowgill, executive chairman, warned that the effect of high interest rates, warm spring weather and last year’s World Cup meant the company did not expect to maintain the 'heady' 7.5% sales growth posted in the first quarter of this year.

The company continued the rationalisation of its store portfolio, which it began in 2004, closing a further 34 stores. However, Cowgill said this process had now run its course.

JD said the 73 stores it had acquired when rival Allsports went into administration had now been fully integrated but the performance of its 14 Hargreaves airport stores 'were not great contributors to profit'.

Turnover for the company’s Scotts fashion arm, which represents 6% of the business, fell £3.7m to £37.7m as a store disposal programme continued.