Norwich fishing retailer Angling Direct successfully floats on the London Stock Exchange AIM list

Angling Direct joins the London Stock Exchange. Picture: London Stock Exchange

Angling Direct joins the London Stock Exchange. Picture: London Stock Exchange - Credit: London Stock Exchange

Champagne and smiles greeted the first day's trading for Angling Direct, the newest member of the London Stock Exchange.

The admission to the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) saw the firm raise £9m, with the share price rising from its initial 64p to end the day at 67p.

The business, which has its headquarters in Rackheath, Norwich, runs 15 stores across the UK including the original site in Wroxham – which was opened by accountants Martyn Page and William Hill in 1986.

It also sells goods online and it is planned that £7.4m raised from the placing will be invested in opening new sites and boosting the e-commerce business.

Executive chairman Mr Page said he was pleased to see the stock get off to a good start.

He said: 'The shares increased in the first hour by more than 7% which was good to see.

'My view is we are a young adult company making our way into a bigger world.'

Along with chief executive Darren Bailey, Mr Page was presented with a plaque to commemorate the occasion at a ceremony at the LSE ,before enjoying Champagne and canapes.

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The pair saw their ticker, ANG.L, go up on the boards on the trading floor which Mr Page said was a proud moment.

'It is the beginning of the next stage and now it will be back to the office and back to working to grow the business,' he said. 'We have been checking our phones to see how the stock is doing. I hope I don't get addicted to watching the share price.'

The aim of the admission is to grow the business to generate £50m in revenue by increasing online sales, opening new stores and buying up independent fishing shops.

Mr Bailey said: 'Listing on AIM is a significant transition for the company as we seek to accelerate growth, namely through enhancing the company's e-commerce platform and expanding our footprint of retail stores in the UK through new openings and acquisitions.

'Our aim is to deliver a modernised approach to traditional fishing retail and we believe that providing a best in class online presence and in-store retail experience will drive growth.'