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Sports Direct and Thorntons update the market on ecommerce performance

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Sports Direct said today that ecommerce now accounts for 15% of its total sports retail sales.

The news came as Sports Direct International said its sports retail sales had grown by 13.6% to £264.3m in the nine weeks to March 31, in a trading statement. Total sales grew by 14.3% to £317.4m, while gross profit rose by 22.7% to £128.6m.

Dave Forsey, chief executive of Sports Direct International, said: “The strength of this performance during the nine week period continues to demonstrate the resilience of our business model, especially in the UK. Within our sports division online sales now represent circa 15% of total sports retail sales.

“As we announced in the interim management statement in February 2013, we are certain of reaching our 2013 full year targeted underlying EBITDA of £270m (before the charge for the bonus share schemes).”

Meanwhile, chocolate manufacturer and retailer Thorntons said in its trading statement that it had started to see improvements in its ecommerce performance over Easter following the introduction of a new website. However, Thorntons Direct saw its sales fall by 4.6% to £2.2m in the third quarter of its financial year. Total sales in the 14 weeks to April 20, which included Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter, rose by 4% to £60.6m.

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