Monday, September 5, 2016

News: Fishing Republic reels in another

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Rotherham-based retailer, Fishing Republic has announced another acquisition as it carries out its expansion plans by snapping up smaller, often family-owned fishing retail businesses.

The placing of ten million new shares at 15p per share in June last year raised £1.5m for the Eastwood company that is already one of the largest retailers of fishing tackle in the UK by floorspace. A share placing this year raised a further £3.75m.

Fishing Republic has now acquired the business and assets of sole trader, A. Would, who operates Fantackletastic, a fishing tackle store in Lincolnshire, for a total consideration of £150,000, payable in cash.

Fantackletastic is a well-established local brand in Lincoln, having operated for over 15 years from the same site on a light industrial estate close to the city's centre. Catering for all types of fishing disciplines, from a 4,000 sq ft operation, it provides the company with its first presence in the East Midlands and fits the Group's "destination store" model.

Floating on AIM, the directors believe that Fishing Republic is the only participant in the market looking to act as a consolidator.

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In the year to 31 March 2016, Fantackletastic generated revenues of c. £425,000 and an operating profit of c. £40,000.

"Encouraging results in line with market expectations" were reported by Fishing Rpublic for the year ended December 31 2015. Sales for the year as a whole increased by 22% to £4.12m, compared to the £3.39m in 2014, with sales in the second half after launching on the stock exchange rising by 45% year-on-year.

The additional costs of being a quoted company and increased marketing expenditure meant that the group reported profit before tax (which includes expensed IPO costs of £299,000) was £5,700, down from £295,000 in 2014. However, the group's gross profit increased by 21% to £1.88m (2014: £1.55m).

Following completion of the acquisition, Fantackletastic's founder, Adele Would, will remain with the business for a period to ensure a smooth handover, with the wider team joining Fishing Republic. The acquisition takes the total number of the Group’s stores to 11.

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Steve Gross, chief executive of Fishing Republic, said: "I am pleased to announce the acquisition of Fantackletastic, which provides Fishing Republic with a presence in the East Midlands. It is a long-established business, with a loyal customer base, and fits our "destination store" model. We look forward to working with the Fantackletastic team as we integrate the business within the wider Group.

"We continue to evaluate opportunities to increase the Group's footprint across the UK."

Fishing Republic website

Images: Fishing Republic


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