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Strong results but not all plain sailing for fishing tackle retailer

PUBLISHED: 10:32 21 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:45 21 August 2020

Andy Torrance (inset) on Angling Direct's 2020 results. Picture: Angling Direct

Andy Torrance (inset) on Angling Direct's 2020 results. Picture: Angling Direct

Angling Direct

Angling Direct has reported a strong set of results for the first half of 2020, despite coronavirus and redundancies being made in recent months.

The specialist fishing tackle retailer – now the largest of its kind in the UK – reported a revenue growth of 21pc for the six months of the year up to £32.1m.

Online sales also boomed by 43pc to £17.9m and despite its stores being closed for three months net cash rose to £21m from £13.3m in the same period the year before.

Chief executive Andy Torrance took over the reins in February of this year, and said: “It’s been a baptism of fire given how things have moved since then. We have only managed to get through it as well as we have because of the team we’ve got – especially the distribution centre at Rackheath which thanks to their dedication we could keep running to everyone’s satisfaction and safety requirements. Thanks to them we didn’t have to cease trading in lockdown.”

However it has not all been plain sailing, with around 10 people made redundant earlier this month.

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“That was a difficult decision I had to make as part of readying the business for the next stage of its future,” he said.

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“Despite the redundancies we made we have actually hired more people than we lost – hiring about 30 people across our IT and web teams to help with our new native language websites in Europe.

“Don’t be surprised if you see more hires from us across all areas. That’s including customer service, IT, HR – all of it. We’re a growing business and we have a heritage here in Norfolk that we’re proud of and want to continue.”

Mr Torrance added that the rate at which Angling Direct had been opening stores will however slow down in for the foreseeable future.

“We did open a couple of new stores given contracts signed ahead of lockdown, but you won’t be seeing us opening stores at the rate we have been over the past couple of years,” he said.

“An aim for the moment is balancing profit from the amount of turnover this company is now creating. Originally the plan was to hit a turnover of £50m in five years and we did it in three. That’s testament to the brilliant teams we have and will continue to build.”


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