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Five things we learned from Angling Direct’s interim results

PUBLISHED: 10:15 08 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:15 08 October 2018

The team at Angling Direct. The  fishing tackle and equipment retailer, based in Rackheath, has reported a good first half of the year in its interim results. Picture: Angling Direct

The team at Angling Direct. The fishing tackle and equipment retailer, based in Rackheath, has reported a good first half of the year in its interim results. Picture: Angling Direct

Angling Direct

Norfolk-based Angling Direct, the UK’s largest fishing tackle retailer, welcomed some strong figures in its half-year results.

Angling Direct's warehouse at the Rackheath distribution centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAngling Direct's warehouse at the Rackheath distribution centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Group revenue was up by 55.8% to £21.9m and pre-tax profit increased five-fold to £570,000 in the six months to July 31 – helped by its online and in-store.

Here are the other things we learned from the Rackheath-based company’s interims:

Postal changes: Angling Direct believes a decision to reduce the “postage-free values” on its website – to encourage sales of its smaller, higher margin items under £40 – has had a positive impact. While the average basket value in an online order fell from £97 to £79 over the six-month period, the amount of returning customers ordering baskets under £40 increased by more than 200%.

Eyes on Europe: The company introduced its first international website in German in June. Executive chairman Martyn Page said further European expansion is expected to take place in the second half of the year, with websites for France and Benelux in development.

Fewer thefts: The company said the cost of “insurance replacement sales” fell by 42% in the half-year period to £320,000, due to a reduction in claim volumes for its items and lower rates of theft.

Floor space: By July 31, 2018 Angling Direct was operating 22 stores around the UK, up from 15 in the same period a year earlier. Its Guildford store opened in September, and another opening is due in Peterborough before the end of October. Retail store revenue increased by 60% to £9,93m in the half-year and is driving momentum into the second half of the year, with like-for-like sales in its stores up by 15.4% in August and 12% in September.

Maintaining margins: The company said that, despite dealing with further discounting by competitors and price increases from suppliers in the Far East, it has managed to achieve margins of 32.9% in the period, compared with 33.6% in the year before.

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