In an update to investors, the group said it was “reassured” by trading over the 14 weeks to May 7.
It reported like-for-like sales for the period had been more than 5 per cent higher than the same period last year.
JD Sports, which has more than a dozen Tiso stores in its vast portfolio, added the sales growth came despite “a backdrop of a global shortfall in the supply of certain key footwear styles” amid fresh pandemic restrictions in major regions for production. Nevertheless, the firm said it expects this to improve progressively during the year.
The group expects pre-tax profits for the year to January 29 will be around £940 million. It had already increased its profit target to at least £875m for the year in an update at the start of the year.
The group added that although recent trading has been positive, it is still wary of the uncertain economic backdrop.
It noted: “Whilst we are pleased with the trading to date, which is at least in line with the group’s expectations, we remain conscious of the headwinds that prevail at this time, including the general global macro-economic and geopolitical situation.”
The group anticipates being in a position to announce its results for the year ended January 29 in early to mid-June and will confirm the final date “in due course”.
Eleonora Dani, an equity analyst at brokerage Shore Capital, said: “The company reminds investors that the [first quarter] performance is a reflection of the strength and breadth of the group’s brand relationships and category offer.
“In our view, JD Sports remains a best-in-class retailer amongst our universe of general retailers. The company is tightly managed with excellent cash generation, tight stock, and cost controls.
“Today’s statement should reassure investors that the group remains on track as it delivers a year of good growth in revenues and earnings. We believe that the shares will run in relief today on the back of another profit upgrade.”