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Sports Direct profits dive by nearly 60%

Profits at retailer Sports Direct have plummeted nearly 60% largely as a result of the weaker pound. Underlying pre-tax profit fell to £113.7m, down from £275.2m last year, because of “currency movements and increased depreciation charges”. Chief executive Mike Ashley said it had now taken steps to “minimise the short-term impact of currency volatility”.

Sports Direct’s reputation has been badly hit by revelations about staff conditions at its Derbyshire warehouse.

Chairman Keith Hellawell said the company had made “positive progress” across the business as it continued to “strive to ensure that all of our people are treated with dignity and respect”. A recent survey of workers in Shirebrook, to which 3,300 people responded, had showed that an “overwhelming majority” of people in the warehouse “currently feel they are treated with respect”, he added.