Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct branded a ‘shambles’ as it delays publishing results for the second time
- Sports Direct has said it is still ‘finalising’ its latest financial results
- FTSE-250 listed retailer’s share price is in the red this morning but on the up now
Sports Direct has delayed the publication of its results which were due first thing today, prompting analysts to blast the retailer as a ‘shambles.’
Results are usually published early in the morning, but Sports Direct has said it is still ‘finalising’ its latest figures.
The group, owned by billionaire Mike Ashley, initially said it planned to provide an update at noon, but has pushed this back further to 2pm this afternoon.
Delayed: Sports Direct has delayed the publication of its latest results, prompting analysts to blast the retailer as a ‘shambles’
In a brief statement, Sports Direct said: ‘We are currently still finalising our preliminary results and will update you again at 14:00.’
Unsurprisingly, the FTSE-250 listed group’s share price was in the red this morning, down 1.25 per cent or 3p to 236.2p, but has since recovered and is on the up.
The results were originally due to be released last week, but were postponed as Mike Ashley’s business wrestled with a string of complexities, largely related to its takeover of House of Fraser, which made its results more complicated and could alter its financial forecasts.
The retailer was due to give a presentation to investors and media at 9am this morning, but this was cancelled at the last minute.
In a statement this morning, Sports Direct said: ‘Unfortunately we are still finalising preliminary results.
‘We anticipate that our annual results will still be released today, with a presentation to follow, and will update again at midday.
‘Apologies for any inconvenience.’
The decision to delay the publication of the results has been met with disdain by City analysts.
Cancelled: Sports Direct was due to give a presentation to investors and media at 9am this morning, but this was cancelled at the last minute
Neil Wilson, an analyst at Markets.com, said: ‘Another delay to Sports Direct’s preliminary results has again sent the shares lower.
‘However the circa 2 per cent decline is not that large and highlights the total lack of visibility – there is not yet an indication that there is a material problem with the numbers, although one can draw one’s own conclusions.
‘The latest update is that there will be another update at midday. There is no presentation so hacks will not be pleased.
‘In short it’s a total and utter shambles and betrays a number of problems at the business after Ashley embarked on his rather random acquisition spree. Above all it betrays a total disregard for shareholders.
‘It not only raises questions about the haphazard way in which the investor relations and finance teams are run, but also could suggest a material problem with the numbers. Additionally it raises a question about whether Ashley will ultimately take the company private.’
David Madden, an analyst at CMC Markets, said: ‘A delay on a delay isn’t a good look, and it suggests the company doesn’t have its act together.’
Back in December, Sports Direct said that its underlying profits would rise by 5 per cent to 15 per cent, taking them to between about £321million and £352million. However, it admitted profits would fall once the effect of House of Fraser was included.