Monday, April 24, 2017

News: Encouraging year at Fishing Republic

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Rotherham-based retailer, Fishing Republic, has posted an increase in revenue to £5.79m as it continues to progress its expansion plans to build a significant position in the fishing tackle marketplace.

One of the largest fishing tackle retailers in the UK, the Eastwood company floated on the AIM stock exchange in 2015, raising millions to help carry out its expansion plans.

Fishing Republic is acting as a consolidator and expansion plans involve snapping up smaller, often family-owned fishing retail businesses. At the same time, the store network is expanding and its online sales strategy involves transitioning away from third party platforms to its own website sales, where margins are higher.

The firm has reported on the year ending December 31 2016, calling it "a year of strong progress" where revenue was up by 41% to £5.79m from the £4.12m in 2015. With investment in growth, profit before tax rose to £403,000 from £6,000 in 2015 (which included around £300,000 in costs relating to the IPO). Gross profits have been helped by improved purchasing power.

A new share placing during 2016 landed £3.75m from big name investors including Bill Currie, Iain McDonald and Sir Terry Leahy. This funding has enabled the business to support the expansion of the store network and the online strategy.

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Fishing Republic had 12 outlets by the end of the year with three opening in 2017, in Milton Keynes, Ipswich and Reading. Leases have been signed on three further stores, in King's Lynn, Huntingdon and Clavering in Essex, which expect to open over the coming months.

Store revenues (£4.14m in 2016 compared to £2.27m in 2015) accounted for 71% of the group's total revenues with like-for-like sales increasing by 16% over 2015.

James Newman, chairman of Fishing Republic, said: "Fishing Republic has made strong progress over the year as we continued with expansion plans to build a significant position in the fishing tackle marketplace. Results show very encouraging growth with revenues up by 41% to £5.8m and profit before tax and exceptional items up by 32% to £0.40m.

"The outlook for the Group remains very positive. The fishing tackle marketplace is large but highly fragmented, with over 2,000 mainly owner-operated businesses and we continue to see a substantial growth opportunity for the Group and our multi-channel model."

Steve Gross, chief executive of Fishing Republic, added: "It has been another encouraging year of progress. The new funds we raised in late June 2016 helped to support the continuing development and expansion of our store network and have also enabled us to accelerate our plans to develop the Group's online platform and digital strategy, and transition online sales to our own websites, away from our historical model of third party platforms.

"Our store expansion is progressing very well and we have a further three stores earmarked for opening over the coming months which will take the total number of our outlets to 18. The main fishing season, which typically starts in the second quarter of the year, has begun well and we view prospects for ongoing growth very positively as we capitalise on our 'first mover' advantage."

Fishing Republic wesbite

Images: Fishing Republic


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