Wednesday, May 30, 2018

News: Fishing Republic reports on "disappointing year"

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Rotherham-based Fishing Republic, one of the largest fishing tackle retailers in the UK, said that 2018 would be a year of transition following disappointing trading results.

The Eastwood company that floated on the AIM stock exchange in 2015 has raisied millions to help carry out its expansion plans. However, turnaround plans were required during 2017 to tackle "a significant deterioration in trading."

In its results for the year to December 31 2017, Fishing Republic plc posted a loss before tax of £2.3m compared to a profit of £420,000 in the previous year.

Turnover increased to £9.153m from £5.799m, a rise of 57.8% year-on-year. The growth reflected the store opening programme, with seven stores opened during the year, taking the number of outlets to 19 at the year end.

The growth plans have been based on snapping up smaller competitors, opening destination stores and boosting online sales.

Stores sales increased to £6.743m whilst online sales increased to £2.410m from £1.656m in 2016. The company's bottom line has been hit by a decrease in gross margin to 32.6% from 47.6% alongside exceptional costs of £1.276m and additional resource taken on to support our growth initiatives.

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James Newman, executive chairman of Fishing Republic, said: "We are taking firm action to address the Group's disappointing performance and have made significant changes to the Group's management and organisational structure.

"Our comprehensive review, started at the end of 2017, has already resulted in positive steps forward, and we are working on further initiatives to improve the Group's position and create firmer foundations to take advantage of the market opportunity that exists. The fundraising of £1.3m in a share placing in January 2018 will support our actions.

"2018 is going to be a year of transition with competitive market conditions, changes to our business model and a new and strengthened management team."

Stephen Kyriacou joined as CEO in March and other changes at senior management level have taken place.

Newman added: "While the current financial year has continued to feel the impact of very competitive market conditions, our focus remains on improving working capital efficiency and developing our online platform in terms of technology and service levels, with the benefits to come through in 2019 and beyond."

Fishing Republic website

Images: Fishing Republic

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