Mike Ashley's sportswear empire jumped to a record profit today after enjoying a "significant" sales boost from the London Olympics and Paralympics.
Sports Direct International, which is majority owned by Newcastle United backer Mr Ashley, said half-year revenues were up 22.5% to just over £1 billion amid strong growth in its 398 UK shops and branded sportswear division.
Pre-tax profits rose by a quarter to £125.2 million in the six months to October 28, with the UK's sporting summer playing a major role in boosting demand.
Chief executive Dave Forsey said: "There is no doubt that Team GB's outstanding performance has helped increase the awareness and popularity of sport across the UK, and that we have maintained our position as the consumers' champion."
The latest improvement for Sports Direct, which owns brands including Slazenger, Donnay and Karrimor, came in a period when rival JJB Sports conceded defeat in its battle for survival.
Sports Direct bought 20 stores from JJB's administrators but this meant the closure of another 133 sites with the loss of around 2,200 jobs.
Other recent deals have included an 80% shareholding in retail chains USC and Cruise for £7 million and a 51% stake in premium clothing brand Flannels.
The company said it is on track to meet its earnings target for the full year of £270 million, which is the latest benchmark on a staff bonus scheme that recently delivered a £15,000 shares windfall to 1,750 workers.
Since the end of October, Sports Direct said its relaunched website had helped maintain sales momentum at the start of the Christmas trading quarter.
Freddie George, a retail analyst at Seymour Pierce stockbrokers, said: "The company should benefit from recent acquisitions, capacity coming out of the market and a major opportunity to develop internet sales."WE NEED TO WORK ON SET PLAYS!
Vurnon Anita: "We want to win games and our gameplan was to get our first away win (of the season) on Monday night.
“We worked hard for it but it didn’t happen.
“But we must keep our faith and work hard. It will come if we do that.
"Fulham were sharper than us at set-plays. We must work on that and go on to the next game.
“We started slowly in the first 30 minutes and Fulham were aggressive.
“After that we bossed the game, I think.
"We played well but we didn’t win.
“On Saturday against City we must go at full strength to win the game at home.
“At home we know we have to give everything.
"The fans expect that we put teams under full pressure but I don’t know how we’ll approach it yet.
"I’m going to wait to see what our game plan will be to surprise City at home.
“They lost in the last minute against Man United so I expect them to be aggressive to try to win the game because they don’t want Manchester United to pull away from them at the top.
“They will come full of determination but we must look at ourselves and bring our A game.
“We will be at home, so it’s going to be a great game.
“The crowd behind us can help us and I hope we can do our best on Saturday.”NEWCASTLE UNITED FC 2012/13 Newcastle United Fixtures Saturday December 15 12:45 Newcastle Utd v Manchester City Saturday December 22 15:00 Newcastle United v QPR Wednesday December 26 15:00 Man Utd v Newcastle United Saturday December 29 17:30 Arsenal v Newcastle United PREMIERSHIP FULHAM 2 NEWCASTLE 1 (Ben Arfa)Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon, Gutierrez, Tiote (86' Bigirimana), Anita (86' Marveaux), Ben Arfa (70' Shola Ameobi), Cisse, Ba. Subs: Harper, Perch, Ferguson, Tavernier NEWCASTLE 3 WIGAN 0 (Ba 2 - 1 pen, Bigirimana)Krul, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon (49' Ferguson), Marveaux, Tiote (46' Bigirimana) Anita, Gutierrez (75' Sammy Ameobi), Ba, Cisse Subs: Harper, Shola Ameobi, Ranger, Tavernier STOKE 2 NEWCASTLE 1 (Cisse)Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon, Anita (87' Sammy Ameobi), Perch, Tiote, Gutierrez, Ba, Cisse (87' Ranger).Subs: Elliot, Bigirimana, Marveaux, Ferguson, Tavernier SOUTHAMPTON 2 NEWCASTLE 0Krul, Simpson, S Taylor (90+1' Perch), Williamson, Santon, Anita (66' Marveaux), Tiote, Gutierrez, Ferguson (46' Sammy Ameobi), Ba, Cisse.Subs: Harper, Bigirimana, Ranger, Tavernier NEWCASTLE 1 SWANSEA 2 (Ba)Krul, Simpson (74' Bigirimana), S Taylor, Williamson, Santon, Ben Arfa, Anita, Tiote, Ferguson (46' Shola Ameobi), Sammy Ameobi (79' Marveaux), Ba. Subs: Elliot, Amalfitano, Tavernier,Abeid NEWCASTLE 0 WEST HAM 1Krul, Simpson (79' Obertan), Steven Taylor, Williamson, Santon, Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Gutierrez (24' Anita), Ferguson, Cisse (45+5' Shola Ameobi), Ba Subs:Elliot, Amalfitano, Bigirimana, Marveaux. LIVERPOOL 1 NEWCASTLE 1 (Cabaye)Krul, Anita, S Taylor, Coloccini, Santon, Perch (26' Simpson), Cabaye (68' Ferguson), Gutierrez, Ben Arfa, Cisse, Ba (49' Sammy Ameobi).Subs: Harper, Williamson, Shola Ameobi, Obertan. NEWCASTLE 2 WEST BROM 1 (Ba, Cisse)Krul, Simpson (61 Cisse), Coloccini, Williamson, Santon, Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Perch, Gutierrez, Ba (72 Sammy Ameobi), Shola Ameobi (61 Obertan). Subs: Harper, Anita, Steven Taylor, Ferguson. SUNDERLAND 1 NEWCASTLE UTD 1 (Cabaye)Krul,Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini (79' S Taylor) Santon, Gutierrez, Cabaye, Tiote, Ben Arfa (83' Obertan), Ba, Shola Ameobi (38' Perch).Subs: Harper, Anita, Cisse, Ferguson NEWCASTLE UTD 0 MAN UTD 3Harper, Santon, Perch, Williamson, Ferguson (63' Anita), Ben Arfa, Tiote (80' Bigirimana), Cabaye, Gutierrez, Cisse (63' Shola Ameobi), Ba Subs: Alnwick, Simpson, Obertan, Sammy Ameobi READING 2 NEWCASTLE 2 (Ba 2)Harper, Perch, Williamson, Steven Taylor (Tavernier 56), Santon, Ben Arfa, Tiote, Bigirimana (Ferguson 70), Gutierrez, Cisse (Shola Ameobi 69), Ba.Subs not used: Elliot, Anita, Obertan, Sammy Ameobi. NEWCASTLE 1 NORWICH 0 (Ba)Harper, Perch, Williamson, Steven Taylor, Santon, Ben Arfa (Shola 85mins), Anita (Tiote 76 mins), Cabaye, Jonas, Cisse (Obertan 70 mins), BaSubs unused: Elliot, Tavernier, Bigirimana, Sammy Ameobi EVERTON 2 NEWCASTLE 2 (Ba 2)Harper; Perch, Williamson, Taylor, Santon; Anita, Cabaye (Bigirimana 93), Gutierrez; Marveaux (Ba 46), Ben Arfa; Cissé (Shola Ameobi 80). Substitutes not used Elliot (g), Gosling, Obertan, Tavernier. NEWCASTLE 1 ASTON VILLA 1 (Ben Arfa)Krul, Simpson (Bigirimana 38), Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Santon, Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Anita, Gutierrez (Marveaux 86), Ba (Obertan 86), CisseSubs not used: Harper, Williamson, Gosling, Amalfitano CHELSEA 2 NEWCASTLE 0Krul, Simpson (Ryan Taylor 64), Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Santon (Marveaux 74), Ben Arfa, Anita, Cabaye (Perch 77), Gutierrez, Ba, CisseSubs not used: Harper, Williamson, Gosling, Obertan NEWCASTLE 2 SPURS 1 (Ba, Ben Arfa pen)Krul; Simpson, S Taylor, Perch, Santon; Ben Arfa, Cabaye (Anita, 71), Tiote, Gutierrez; Cisse, Ba (Obertan, 85). Subs not used: Harper; R Taylor, Williamson, Gosling, Amalfitano EUROPA LEAGUE BORDEAUX 2 NEWCASTLE 0Elliot, Tavernier, Williamson (74' Coloccini), Perch, Ferguson, Abeid, Bigirimana, Ranger, Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi (46' Anita) Shola Ameobi (80' Cisse)Subs: Krul, Simpson, Romain Amalfitano, Campbell NEWCASTLE 1 MARITIMO 1Krul, Simpson, S Taylor, Coloccini, Santon, Marveaux, Bigirimana, Anita, Sammy Ameobi (76' Abeid), Ben Arfa (40' Ba), Cisse (50' Amalfitano)Subs: Elliot, Williamson, Ferguson, Tavernier'. CLUB BRUGGE 2 NEWCASTLE 2 (Anita, Shola Ameobi)Krul, Anita, Williamson (58' Steven Taylor), Coloccini, Tavernier, Tiote, Sammy Ameobi (83' Amalfitano), Marveaux, Bigirimana (72' Cabaye), Obertan, Shola Ameobi Sub: Elliot, Santon, Cisse, Shane Ferguson NEWCASTLE 1 CLUB BRUGGE 0 (Obertan)Harper, Perch, Santon, Steven Taylor, Ferguson 80 (Cabaye), Obertan, Tiote, Bigirimana, Anita 46' (Shola Ameobi), Sammy Ameobi 73' (Coloccini), CisseSubs: Krul, Ben Arfa, Ba, Campbell NEWCASTLE 3 BORDEAUX 0 (Shola Ameobi, Henrique og), Cisse)Elliot (Harper, 46 ); Simpson, Williamson, Perch, Ferguson; Anita, Tiote (Gosling, 71), Cabaye (Bigirimana, 61); Cisse, Ameobi, Obertan. MARITIMO 0 NEWCASTLE 0Elliot, Santon, Williamson, Perch, S Taylor, Gosling, Amalfitano (Ferguson 76), Bigirimana, Obertan (Marveaux 80), Vuckic (Sami Ameobi 53), Shola Ameobi. Subs (not used): Harper (gk), Tavernier, Abeid, Campbell NEWCASTLE 1 ATROMITOS 0 (Vuckic)Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Ryan Taylor (11 Vuckic), Obertan, Bigirimana, Perch (59 Tavernier), Marveaux (91 Amalfitano), Gosling, Ba. Subs: Harper, Cabaye, Cisse, Campbell. ATROMITOS 1 NEWCASTLE 1 (R Taylor)Harper; Tavernier, Williamson, Perch, R Taylor; Bigirimana, Anita; Obertan, Gosling (Amalfitano, 64), Marveaux (Gutierrez, 71); Cisse (Campbell, 77). Subs not used: Krul, Santon, Cabaye, S Taylor. LEAGUE CUP MAN UTD 2 NEWCASTLE 1 (Cisse)Elliot, Coloccini (Ferguson 61), Williamson, Perch, Tavernier, Gosling, Marveaux, Tioté (Bigirimana 71), Obertan, Vuckic (Cisse 81), Shola Ameobi. Subs not used: Harper, Anita, Amalfitano, Sammy Ameobi. PRE-SEASON CARDIFF CITY 4 NEWCASTLE 1 (Shola Ameobi pen)Krul, Simpson, Coloccini (Williamson 46), Steven Taylor (Gosling 63), Santon, Obertan (Campbell 83), Tiote (Amalfitano 71) , Gutiérrez, Marveaux (Vuckic 46), R Taylor (Perch 28), Shola Ameobi. HARTLEPOOL 1 NEWCASTLE 5 (Shola Ameobi, Marveaux 2, Obertan, Vuckic)Harper (Alnwick 82), Simpson (Good 72), Tavernier, Williamson, S.Taylor (Vuckic 46), Perch (R.Taylor 72), Gosling, Amalfitano (Santon 80), Marveaux (Obertan 78), Sh.Ameobi (Ben Arfa 46), Bigirimana (Abeid 59). DEN HAAG 0 NEWCASTLE 0Krul; S Taylor (Gosling 65), R Taylor (Perch 71), Coloccini, Santon (Simpson 80); Obertan (Bigirimana 71), Tiote (Ameobi 71), Vuckic (Williamson 65), Gutierrez; Ba (Amalfitano 82), Cisse BRAGA 1 NEWCASTLE 2 (Ba, R Taylor)Harper; Simpson, Tavernier, Coloccini, R.Taylor; Sammy Ameobi (Obertan 88), Tiote (Cabaye 70), Gutierrez, Marveaux; Cisse, Ba (Vuckic 85). OLYMPIACOS 1 NEWCASTLE 1 (S Taylor)Krul, Perch, Williamson, S.Taylor (Dummett 46), Santon, Obertan (Sammy Ameobi 72), Bigirimana, Gosling (Abeid 36), Amalfitano, Vuckic, Shola Ameobi (Cisse 72). FENERBAHCE 1 NEWCASTLE 1 (Abeid)Elliot, Simpson (Santon 68), Tavernier, Coloccini, R Taylor, Tiote (Bigirimana 59), Gosling (Abeid 73), Obertan (Shola Ameobi 75), Marveuax (Gutierrez 59), Vuckic (Sammy Ameobi 46), Ba (Cisse 68). MONACO 0 NEWCASTLE 1 (Ba)Harper, Santon (Ryan Taylor 57), Simpson, Williamson (Perch 46), Gutierrez, Amalfitano (Obertan 62), Abeid (Tavernier 46), Bigirimana (Tiote 62), Sammy Ameobi (Vuckic 46), Shola Ameobi (Gosling 62), Ba (Marveaux 78) CHEMNITZER 1 NEWCASTLE 0Elliot; Tavernier (Simpson, 70), Williamson, Perch, R Taylor (Santon, 70); Obertan (Gutierrez, 77), Abeid (Bigirimana, 70), Gosling, Amalfitano; Vuckic (Shola Ameobi, 70), Sammy Ameobi (Ba, 77). Sub not used: Harper.
Source: Newcastle United Mad