Tuesday, July 21, 2015

News: Fishing Republic dips its toe in the water

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Rotherham-based retailer, Fishing Republic has provided a trading update for the first half of its maiden financial year as a quoted company.

The placing of ten million new shares at 15p per share in June has raised £1.5m for the Eastwood company that is already one of the largest retailers of fishing tackle in the UK by floorspace.

Floating on AIM, the directors believe that Fishing Republic is the only participant in the market looking to act as a consolidator, giving the group the benefit of "first-mover advantage."

The fishing tackle retail sector is highly fragmented, predominantly comprising a large number of independent retailers including a few established small chains. The directors believe that there is an opportunity to act as a consolidator in the sector and build a significant market presence through acquisition and organic growth.

In a statement to the stock exchange, the company said that trading performance over the first six months ended June 30 2015 has been good. Adding that: "Sales are expected to show a small increase on the same period last year and margins have improved considerably. All market areas performed well and online sales in the period are significantly ahead of last year, partly reflecting the programme to enhance the company's website portals."

The update added, "Trading has started well in the second half of the year and the company is looking to expand its operations by making some small acquisitions and is making progress regarding its intention to open a new outlet in the Midlands."

The group currently operates a chain of seven "destination" retail outlets in the North of England, with a combined footprint of approximately 61,500 sq ft of retail and warehousing space. The Rotherham store on Chesterton Road incorporates the company's head office and over 30,000 sq ft of warehouse capacity. The online operation gives access to 16,500 different angling products and accounts for around 49% of sales. £1.7m in online sales was secured in 2014.

The business posted steady revenues of around £3.4m for the last three years and had an operating profit of £361k in 2014.

The company will announce its maiden half year results on September 2 2015.

Fishing Republic website

Images: Fishing Republic

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