Shoppers hooked! Fishing firm posts bumper sales growth despite closures

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

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

A proudly East Anglian firm has posted another bumper set of results as the public continued to enjoy the Great British summer with activities like fishing. 

Angling Direct, which is the UK's largest tackle retailer, has seen revenue leap to £38.4m in the six months to the end of August - up from £32.1m for the same period last year. 

The company, which was founded in Wroxham in Norfolk, has 39 stores across the country including a handful in East Anglia. 

These include Colchester, Beccles and Norwich. 

Despite all of these stores being closed under government restrictions during the first half of the year, the company recorded strong sales growth of 54pc. 

The board said it was pleased to report an increase in online sales - up 3.2pc. 

UK online sales grew by 15.8pc as the channel sales mix returned to more historical norms.

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German, French and Dutch native language websites sales in Europe (which comprise less than 5pc of Group revenue) were down by 34.2pc, impacted by post-Brexit restrictions on bait sales and significant customs border disruption, impacting lead times and customer confidence.

The latter has started to improve in recent months, and Angling Direct said "it remains a strategic priority for the group to establish a more efficient trading model in Europe".

Andy Torrance, chief executive of Angling Direct, said: “We are pleased to have delivered a robust financial performance in the first half of the year, building on the operational and strategic progress made last year.

"Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, we have remained focused on driving operational excellence and taking our seamless omnichannel proposition to new and existing angling communities.

"Our market-leading offering means we are well-positioned to leverage the growing interest in fishing, and we look forward to further updating shareholders at the interim results in October.”

The company added that it "remains alert to evolving trading patterns as we emerge from the pandemic". 

Adding: "The company’s strong balance sheet means it is well positioned to further invest in its strategy to become Europe’s first choice omni-channel fishing tackle destination."

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