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Angling Direct pays price for Brexit with 34% decline in European online sales


The UK’s largest fishing tackle retailer recorded total revenue growth of 19.5% in the first half of its financial year, but saw its mainland Europe online sales struggle due to the impact of Brexit.

Angling Direct recorded strong sales growth of 54% in the first quarter following ‘unprecedented’ levels of demand last year after store reopenings in June. Growth in the second quarter was 3.5%, resulting in a total sales increase to £38.4m (2021: £32.1m).

In its report to investors released this morning, the east of England-based company said it was pleased to report an increase in online sales – up 3.2% to £18.4m – against a very strong comparable period. UK revenue grew by 15.8% to £17.2m as the channel sales mix returned to normal levels.

It reported that its German, French and Dutch native language websites were down by 34.2% as a result of post Brexit restrictions on bait sales and ‘significant’ customs border disruption, which impacted lead times and customer confidence. It added that the latter has started to improve in recent months and it remains a strategic priority to establish a more efficient trading model in Europe.

Angling Direct opened one new store in Redditch, Worcestershire (above) during the period to take its number of outlets to 39.

Andy Torrance, Angling Direct CEO, 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 in driving operational excellence and taking our seamless omni-channel 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 our shareholders at the interim results presentation in October.”

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