Angling Direct posts strong first half performance
Angling Direct has posted a strong uplift in first half sales despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the six months to 31 July, total sales climbed by 19.5% to £38.4 million after first and second quarter sales rose by 54% and 3.5% respectively. Angling Direct said the lower increase in the second quarter was due to the performance being measured against unprecedented levels of demand in the prior year following store re-openings after the first Covid-19 lockdown.
Online sales edged up 3.2% in the period as UK online sales grew by 15.8%. However, German, French and Dutch native language websites saw their sales decline by 34.2% after they were impacted by post-Brexit restrictions on bait sales and significant customs border disruption.
Meanwhile, store sales rose by 40.1%.
Despite UK shops being closed during the third Covid-19 lockdown, Angling Direct continued to provide a call and collect service for its customers. In addition, the company opened one new store in the period at Redditch and relocated its Sittingbourne store as it looked to improve the shopping experience. Angling Direct now operates a total of 39 stores across the UK.
Andy Torrance, chief executive of Angling Direct, 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 on driving operational excellence and taking our seamless omnichannel proposition to new and existing angling communities.”
Due to its performance in its first half, the company said it is confident that its full year EBITDA will be not less than £4 million (pre-IFRS 16) and £5.7 million (post-IFRS 16).
Torrance added: “Our market leading offering means we are well positioned to leverage the growing interest in fishing, and we look forward to further updating shareholders at the interim results in October.”