JD Sports raises its earnings outlook before the executive compensation dispute | JD Sports Fashion

JD Sports raised its profit outlook after reopening its stores in the UK before a confrontation with investors over the executive’s compensation.

Sportswear retailer boss Peter Cowgill has received nearly £ 6million in bonuses since February last year, though the company has accepted more than £ 100million in government support as the stores were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said trade has been particularly encouraging in the UK since the lockdown restrictions were lifted, and most of its 3,300 stores worldwide are open, with the exception of some in the Asia-Pacific region.

Reopening of stores and resilient online sales helped the company increase its pre-tax profit forecast for the year to ‘no less’ £ 550million from £ 324million in the year previous. Shares rose nearly 4%, making JD Sports one of the best hikes in the FTSE 100 on Thursday morning.

The retailer presented a better-than-expected outlook ahead of its annual meeting of shareholders, at which Cowgill is expected to come under pressure from some investors for taking a bonus while accepting government financial aid.

The company said it has accepted government financial support and used it “for its intended purpose” to ensure that “the thousands of people we employ continue to be supported and to have long-term and sustainable employment prospects. long term with our company “.

JD Sports will make the decision to repay the government leave money when there is “certainty both over the complete relaxation of restrictions and the consequences of any further lockdowns during our commercial peak period this winter.”

He said the uncertainty surrounding Covid “is not yet completely gone and the current resurgence in infection rates is affecting our customer base more than ever before.”

JD Sports said it also plans to split the role of Cowgill’s executive chairman and general manager ahead of the next annual general meeting and will begin a “global process” shortly.

After the Covid-19 outbreak, Cowgill slashed his base salary – which fell to £ 700,000 – by 75% for several months during the pandemic and his annual bonus was reduced from £ 1.7million to £ 1 , 3 million pounds.

However, he won a special £ 3million bonus, half of which was paid in February 2020; and an additional £ 1.5million, which was initially due in October 2020, which was paid in January this year. It is understood that an additional £ 1.5million was paid a month later, in February of this year.

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