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GO Outdoors cuts losses from £23.5m to £6.1m following restructure


GO Outdoors – one of the UK’s leading suppliers of fishing tackle – reduced its losses last year from £23.5m to £6.1m. following its restructuring.

The recovery of the JD Sports-owned company was further demonstrated by the fact that the business made a profit before exceptional items of £10.7 million in the second half compared to a loss of £3.4m in the same corresponding period last year.

The business was placed into administration in June and then bought straight back in a move designed to pay down its debts and renegotiate leases.

The group’s Executive Chairman, Peter Cowgill, told investors that the restructure of the business in the first half of its financial year had been a ‘difficult’ process. “However,” he said, “we believe it was a necessary exercise as the inflexible and uncompetitive terms of the historic property leases meant that GO Outdoors was in danger of becoming a material drain on group profitability in the future.”

He also revealed that the business has started to integrate the Fishing Republic business – acquired in January 2019 – into larger GO Outdoors stores by creating specialist areas for fishing tackle.

For the year ended January 30th, 2020 JD Sports reported a profit before tax and exceptional items of £421.3 million (2020: £438.8).

Cowgill added: “The global COVID-19 pandemic and more recently the UK’s formal exit from the European Union have presented a series of unprecedented challenges which have severely tested all aspects of our business including our multi-channel capabilities, the robustness of our operational infrastructure and the resilience of our colleagues. However, at all times, the group has strived to do the right thing for all stakeholders.

“Notwithstanding these well publicised challenges, a number of positive themes have been increasingly apparent through the year which gives us confidence that, as we begin to emerge from the worst of the disruption, JD is at the pinnacle of the global sports fashion industry. We have a market leading multi-channel proposition which continues to enhance its relevance to consumers and has the necessary agility to progress in an environment where the retailing of international brands may see permanent global structural change. 

“Our positive outlook is reflected by the fact that, even with the unique circumstances of store closures for a substantial period of the year, the Group has retained substantially all of its record profitability from the prior year.”

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