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Angling Direct suffers ‘disappointing’ trade due to flooding

PUBLISHED: 09:59 18 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:59 18 February 2020

The Angling Direct team when the Norfolk business joined the stock exchange. Picture: London Stock Exchange

The Angling Direct team when the Norfolk business joined the stock exchange. Picture: London Stock Exchange

London Stock Exchange

Norfolk’s Angling Direct has reported “disappointing” trade since Christmas after demand for fishing equipment dropped off due to flooding.

The Rackheath-based specialist tackle and equipment retailer published a surge in revenue in its pre-close trading update for the 12 months to January 31.

However, this was dampened by a "disproportionate hit" to its consumable products due to lower demand.

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Angling Direct said: "Profits have been impacted by a disappointing trading period, post-Christmas, influenced by exceptional winter flooding.

"The lower levels of fishing activity meant that the higher margin, consumable products, were hit disproportionally. In addition, a more prudent approach has been taken to some legacy costs, which, taken together, lead the company to believe that it will deliver a pre-IFRS 16, EBITDA loss of no more than £0.5 million.

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"The company continues to have a strong balance sheet and held cash of £5.9 million at the 31 January 2020."

Despite these knock-backs Angling Direct will still post an increase in revenue of £53.1m - an increase of 26.5%.

In store sales climbed by 41.3 per cent compared to the prior year, or 12 per cent on a like-or-like basis. During the year the company added ten new stores to its estate, taking the total to 34.

Online sales were up by 13.3 per cent to £25.2m.

The group was founded by Martyn Page and William Hill in 1986, who bought a single fishing tackle shop in Wroxham.

More than 30 years later the chain is the biggest specialist fishing tackle and equipment retailer in the UK and now floats on the London Stock Exchange.

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