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Ahead of annual meeting, Sports Direct says trading in line with expectations

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By Reuters
Ahead of annual meeting, Sports Direct says trading in line with expectations
FILE PHOTO: Mike Ashley, founder and majority shareholder of sportwear retailer Sports Direct, leads journalists on a factory tour at the company's headquarters in Shirebrook, Britain, September 7, 2016. REUTERS/Darren Staples//File Photo   -   Copyright  Darren Staples(Reuters)

LONDON (Reuters) – Sports Direct <SPD.L>, the sportswear group controlled by billionaire Mike Ashley, said on Wednesday ahead of its annual shareholders’ meeting that trading was in line with previous guidance.

The firm has forecast a 5-15 percent improvement in underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the current financial year, excluding the acquisition of House of Fraser, which it purchased out of administration for 90 million pounds last month.

“Our strategy to transform House of Fraser into the Harrods of the high street will be a game changer,” said CEO Ashley.

Ashley faces a potential investor revolt at the annual meeting over alleged corporate governance failings though he will not be present to hear any protests.

(Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle)