Bonus payout for Sports Direct staff despite warm autumnal weather

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Sports Direct said it is “certain” to achieve an earnings target that will mean a bonus payout worth £34m next year for 3,000 staff, despite trading being ​hit by mild autumn weather.​ ​

The group, controlled by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, reported underlying earnings up 11​ per cent​ to £203.1​m for the half-year to October 26, more than two-thirds of the way towards a £300m target for the full-year.​

The bonus would be worth just over £11,000 per eligible worker. However​ less than 10 per cent of staff are eligible for the scheme so​ the majority of the group’s 28,000 workers will miss out.

Half-year results showed pre-tax profits ​rose​ 4.6​ per cent​ to £149.7​m on revenues ​up 6.5​ per cent​ to £1.43​bn.

Chief executive Dave Forsey said: “The results for the six months were solid considering the adverse impact on performance during the period of England’s early departure from the FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the unseasonably mild weather during autumn reducing footfall.

“However, the continued growth in group revenues and EBITDA is testament to the hard work of our colleagues and our continued focus on providing customers with exceptional quality and unbeatable value.​“​

​​The retailer has also opened four concessions in Debenhams after buying a stake in the department store.