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UK’s largest retailer set to beat profit expectations despite second lockdown


The UK’s biggest fishing tackle retailer, Angling Direct, said today that it is on course to beat its own profit expectations, despite the second COVID lockdown period.

The company, which has been operating its retail sites on a click-and-collect basis for the last month, reports that sales have remained strong across all channels. All 38 of its retail stores have now fully reopened following the lifting of restrictions.

“As a result of strong trading and enhanced visibility over our operations as stores reopen, the board believes the company is now likely to exceed current market expectations with a forecast pre-EBITDA out-turn for the financial year 2021 of not less than £3.8m,” says a trading update. The company’s cash balance as of November 30 was £17.9m.

Angling Direct adds that sales grew across all channels for the nine months to October 31, 2020, and had risen 30.5% to £54.5m compared to a year earlier. It also stated that trading over the Black Friday period was in line with expectations.

The Norwich-based company reports that it is making good progress with its refreshed strategy to develop margins across all channels, drive own brand sales, improve working capital and embed operational efficiencies in its stores and distribution centre. “The company has continued to meet consumer demand, prioritise profitable growth and did not need to utilise the Government’s Job Retention Scheme this period,” says the update.

Angling Direct plans to release a pre-close update in February following its year-end on January 31.

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