This Is Why Mike Ashley Had A Very Good Day Yesterday

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct company reported a 21% increase in retail sales, and as expected his market share of the sports retail business increased,  after rival JJB’s financial collapse last year.

mike ashley thinuibs up smiling

Mike Ashley – no wonder he’s smiling

Sports Direct reported revenues of £589.5M in the quarter to January 27th, from its revamped online operation and some 400 retail stores around the country, and the Sports Direct profits were up to £244.8M, which is an increase of 23%.

That’s a really big profit margin for a retail company, and those figures do not include the 20 stores of JJB bought from the administrator,  when JJB went into bankruptcy last year.

Anusha Couttigane is an analyst at consultancy Conlumino, and she had this to say about yesterday’s results – which were expected to be good:

“As rivals within the sports sector have dropped off the high street, it seems Sports Direct has hurdled through the recession to become the chief beneficiary of Britain’s galvanized interest in the activity.”

For its part the Sports Direct company executives said it was certain to meet its earnings target for the year to April of £270M (for the next quarter), and that is a target that will pay out staff bonuses if reached.

That same bonus scheme recently gave out £15,000 in shares to a total of 1,750 Sports Direct workers.

Peter Saville is a Partner at the advisory and restructuring firm of Zolfo Cooper, and he had this to say about the results:

“Mike Ashley continues to prove himself as one of Britain’s high street heroes, having mastered the latest consumer trends in time to reap the benefits.” “At a time when many retail employees fear for their jobs, Sports Direct staff are enjoying a generous benefit scheme.”

“If rumors of Ashley’s plans to expand into different areas of the high street are true, other retailers may soon find themselves in the shadow of Sports Direct’s founder.”

The Brands Division of the company – which includes brands like Slazenger, Donnay and Karrimor – increased revenues by 4.4% to £47M, and its profits rose 6.7% to £20.7M.

Mike Ashley is also the owner of Newcastle United – and it was a good day for Mike yesterday as Newcastle won 1-0 in Metalist Kharkiv in the Ukraine – and the Magpies go through to the last 16 of the Europa League.

Marc Gillham is from Durham and is at Hull University studying business and marketing. He is engaged in a project to help non-league clubs make decisions regarding sponsorship. Please help Marc with his research by filling out this questionnaire – thanks.

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and +1 us on Google+:

You can also reach Ed at


10 comments so far


    Feb 22, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #1

    I think I speak for everyone when I say nothing puts a bigger smile on my face than reading Ashleys wealth is increasing….

  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 22, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #2


    I love him earning more haha.

    In reality I don’t mind, good on him really. He has started from nothing and done very well for himself. They reward staff well and it seems like a god company to work for if you want to be in retail.

    His bonus scheme is refreshing in modern business as not often do those at the bottom get the benefits of their hard work.

    He provides a lot of jobs to the country which is always welcome.

    Now if he could only supply a few people like messi and ronaldo with jobs the we’d be cooking on gas.

  • ichrisho

    Feb 22, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #3

    If we can buy 5 players for 20m – I cannot wait until the Summer to see what Cashley will lay at Pardew’s feet… A Striker who know s what offside is would be helpful 🙂

  • joe

    Feb 22, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #4

    Although many of you will not agree with this, but I totally support Pardew and the brand of football he’s trying to instill in this club. In my opinion, I have seen enough evidence to suggest that possession football and dominating the ball like many posters here are advocating is not the way forward. Like Bayern showed against Arsenal, and Milan against Barcelona, a well drilled unit with attacking or counterattacking intent will always outlast a possession based team. And not only based on those 2 matches, but also look back to Chelsea’s semi final and final, as well as the way England did not concede to Italy during the Euros, and only conceded to a Samir Nasri long range screamer against France. Obviously I’m not advocating us playing like England but my point is that possession football falls short against the best drilled units.

    We have the right players to play a possession based game, and that midfield would consist of 3 ball players – Anita, Cabaye, and Sissoko or possibly Marveux. But at the same time like we saw in those CL matches they make us extremely vulnerable to counter attacks, and we are not yet good enough to dominate the opposition for 90 mins and thus we will concede many counterattacks. Just an example would be Arsenal – extremely fluid midfield, but very vulnerable as well.

    I’d rather we play like Bayern Munich, they were a joy to watch imo. Well drilled, direct, efficient, effective, without the passing for the sake of passing crap.


    Feb 22, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #5

    Nothing against it really I just dont care about it, if I want to read about it I’ll pick up a financial times or head to a business blog (if such a thing exists) but this is a NUFC blog I believe

    Good for tubs but unless it affects his influence on Newcastle, which we know it wont, I simply dont care. Next season we as a club should be making enough so we dont need Ashley’s financial aid as long as wages dont spiral

  • ichrisho

    Feb 22, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #6

    Joe – Cabaye, Anita and Sissoko seem to havethe ball-playing Triangle going in Midfield for once… no more hoofing it past our midfield… this is how we need to move forward… I would rather see Collo in a Tiote role than Tiote.. I am not sure he fits in anymore…

  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 22, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #7


    Thats ok for cup competitions but look at the leagues.

    Won buy man city/man utd here

    mardid/barce in spain

    dortmund/munich in germany

    juventus/inter in italy

    These teams all play attacking, passing football.

    It’s possible to win a cup by being solid as you need to maintain that focus and carry a little luck for only 6/7 games in knock out format.

    It’s much more difficult to keep defensive football up and get results over a full season. You need to be attacking to win league titles or get around the top 4.

    They key with it is to know your limitations. We should go into games against most teams and attack but against teams that are better sometimes being cautious and counter attacking is better.

  • estechco

    Feb 22, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #8

    £15,000 in shares to 1,750 staff?!?

    Either that’s a typo or MA is a little tight with his staff bonuses?

  • AndyMac

    Feb 22, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #9

    Joe I think you’re missing the point regarding “passing for passing sake”. It has been said on many occasions that passing will get you nowhere unless you can convert those passes to shots on goal. Swansea, last season, were a typical example of a team that passed the ball everywhere but managed very little penetration in the final third.

    If you want to play a Milan/Chelsea defensive set up, while attacking on the break, you need discipline within the “banks of four”. Milan’s was a textbook formation and whenever Barca got the ball you could see quite clearly two banks of four stretched across the park whereas yesterday we were struggling with six across the back line sometimes seven or eight. Yes there was always a back four but the next bank of four were all over the place.

    IMO Pardwho has the answer to the conundrum but he just doesnt know it – as usual ! Maybe he’ll come across it by accident as he did last season ?

    4-3-3 with two attacking full backs, two disciplined dm’s to fill in for either FB and one am (Cabaye) prompting the front three of HBA, Goof and one of Cisse/Marv/Shola.

    Hoof ball should be consigned to the dustbin as its often counter productive. As long as you’ve got players moving off the ball and creating space for colleagues then the right pass can be made more effectively.

  • tooninspain

    Feb 22, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #10

    Estecho….are you having a laugh? If Ashley pays out a £15,000 bonus to each of his 1,750 staff, then that comes to £26.25 million. How the hell can you say he is being “a little tight”?


You must log in to post a comment.