Sports Direct reports record profits

RETAILER Sports Direct is to extend its staff bonus scheme for the next two years after the incentive helped the firm deliver a 40 per cent hike in profits.

The sportswear chain said eligible employees would receive a potential bonus of up to one year's salary, weighted 25 per cent in shares in the financial year ending 2012 and 75 per cent in shares in 2013.

The group must hit underlying earnings targets of 215m and 250m in each year respectively.

The company - controlled by Mike Ashley, the owner of Newcastle FC - said it was also confident of hitting this year's underlying earnings target of 205m and triggering this year's bonus awards.

Non-executive chairman Keith Hellawell said there was "no doubt" the scheme helped the group record 100.7m in pre-tax profits in the six months to October 24 and an eight per cent rise in revenues to 819.9m.