JD Sports announces corporate overhaul following exit of chair Peter Cowgill

Athleisure retailer JD Sports is to overhaul its corporate governance and internal controls following the controversial departure of its longtime executive chair Peter Cowgill.

Alongside its much-delayed full-year results, the FTSE 100 company said that “a number of regulatory issues” had highlighted a need for more board-level experience and greater internal scrutiny and control.

The group in recent months has had several run-ins with the UK’s competition regulator and been fined on two occasions.

It said that following a review, it would now implement “a more formalised approach to governance, risk management and the documentation and appraisal of internal controls”.

Despite the disputes, the company reported its best-ever financial results, with sales in the year to January 2022 rising by more than a third to £8.56bn and pre-tax profit before exceptional items more than doubling to £947mn. The group finished the year with net cash of £1.18bn.

JD said it expected a similar level of profit in the current year. The company has begun the process to recruit a new permanent chief executive and chair.

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