- Sportswear and equipment retailer Sports Direct International posted a large rise in first-half profit as acquisitions boosted revenue and it booked a gain on the sale of a distribution centre.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through 27 October more than doubled to £193.4m, up from £74.4m on-year, and included a £84.9m gain from the sale and leaseback of the Shirebrook distribution centre in the UK.

Revenue rose 14% to £2.04bn and underlying profit rose 58% to £101.8m.

However, revenue excluding acquisitions and currency movements fell 6.4%.

Underlying Ebitda excluding acquisitions and currency movements rose 15.1%.

Sports Direct did not declare an interim dividend.

Looking forward, the company said its expected underlying Ebitda, including the recently-acquired House of Fraser business but excluding IFRS 16 accounting adjustments, to grow between 5% and 15% from the previous year's pre-House of Fraser underlying Ebida figure of £339.4m.

That gave a range of between £356.4m to £390.3m for the year ending 26 April 2020.

'We are hoping that the political waters will be calmer in the coming months which will allow us to move out of this period of market unpredictability,' chairman David Daly said.

'This will enable us to plan appropriately for the future which is critically important.'

'Despite ongoing challenges, we believe we are getting into a good place, building a solid foundation of elevation and efficiency which will lead to sustainable growth and a successful future.'

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