Sports Direct share price jump secures Ashley £96m windfall
Sports Direct’s (LON:SPD) share price leaped around five percent on Friday amid relief in the City following a Tory win, which meant a clampdown on ‘zero hours’ contracts had become significantly less likely. With Mike Ashley controlling 55 percent of the retailer, the surge equated to an instant £96 million windfall for the tycoon.
Sports Direct is responsible for a fifth of all zero-hour contracts in the UK retail sector. Ashley — who ranks as Britain’s 22nd-richest man with a £3.5 billion fortune – had recently faced attacks by Labour leader, Ed Miliband, over his sportswear firm’s use of contracts, which do not specify set working hours or guaranteed income. Despite David Cameron admitting he could not live on such terms, the Conservatives have no plans to limit this employment practices.
After a Dispatches investigation into the use of zero-hours contracts at Sports Direct, Steve Turner, assistant secretary at trade union Unite, branded the way the company’s practices “a throwback to the Victorian era”. “Mike Ashley and Sport Direct’s shameful business model, which is built on low pay and exploitative zero hours contracts, where workers are treated with contempt, has no place on the high streets of 21st century Britain,” Turner added.
Sports Direct’s share price has extended Friday’s gains, standing 0.54 percent higher at 657.50p as of 10:51 BST today. Despite the recent increase, the company’s stock is more than seven percent down in the year to date.
As of 12:12 BST, Monday, 11 May, Sports Direct International Plc share price is 657.50p.