Angling Direct, the UK’s leading fishing tackle retailer, reported a 7.2% increase in sales for its last financial year despite all its stores being closed for three months because of COVID-19 restrictions.
In a Stock Exchange release issued this morning, the group reported revenues of £72.5m for the year ended January 31st, 2022 compared to £67.6m in the previous year. Total store sales rose 19.9% to £38.7m (£32.3m), while online sales fell from £35.3m to £33.8m, but have risen by 33.9% over the last two years.
The UK represented 92% of online sales, rising by 2.7%, but revenue from its European sites fell 39.3% with its key territories of Germany, France and the Netherlands declining 21.8% as the company was impacted by rising export costs and consumer fulfilment times post Brexit. However, going forward the Board said that it expected to return to growth in Europe as a result of the imminent opening of its European distribution centre.
Angling Direct added that it is continuing to invest in stock to both reduce the risk of supply chain uncertainties and ensure ‘robust’ levels of product ahead of the 2022 fishing season as well as to satisfy its impending European fulfilment capacity.
It says that the new financial year has started with a return to a more traditional channel split following the removal of most of the pandemic restrictions in the UK and in many of the company’s key European markets. “The Board believes that Angling Direct’s leading omni-channel model, combined with its strategic and operational progress in the last financial year, leaves it well placed to benefit from its significant European growth opportunity. Moreover, the strong balance sheet means the company is well positioned to seize opportunities to invest in other key areas to accelerate growth.”
It adds: “The Board welcomes the wind down of the remaining Covid-19 restrictions and the expected return to more normalised conditions, with an associated withdrawal of Government financial support for retailers, including business rates relief.
“The Board remains vigilant as to continuing challenges in the macro-environment such as rising inflation and supply chain disruption. However, mitigating actions taken by the company to date have moderated these impacts and the Board re-affirms its view that Angling Direct is well-placed to capitalise on the opportunities ahead. The Board remains committed to its growth plan and will invest in order to strengthen the company’s market leading position, maintain a compelling customer offer and gain market share both within the UK and Europe.
Andy Torrance, CEO of Angling Direct, said: “We are extremely pleased with the company’s trading performance through what has been another challenging year. Despite significant Government restrictions endured during the period, we have delivered against our operational and strategic objectives. We have reported record revenues, opened four new stores and continued to invest in our long-term growth strategy, including the imminent opening of our European Distribution centre in the Netherlands.
“This investment as well as our investment in technology and strong balance sheet leave the company well positioned to accelerate our growth strategy. These achievements would not have been possible without the continued commitment of all our Angling Direct colleagues who I would like to thank again for their incredible support throughout the year.”