Wednesday, October 17, 2018

News: Shares suspended in Fishing Republic

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Rotherham-based Fishing Republic, one of the largest retailers of fishing tackle in the UK, has seen trading in its shares suspended three years after floating on the London stock exchange.

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

Reporting its interim results for the six months ended June 30 2018, the company said that it is in a year of transition and that financial results "reflect the challenging period, including the very difficult trading backdrop."

Revenues of £3.4m for the period, down from £4.1m in the same period of 2017, meant that Fishing Republic posted a loss before exceptional items, interest and taxation, depreciation and amortisation of £1.4m, compared to breaking even in the same period last year.

A statement said: "This difficult trading environment has continued and the Board has been informed that certain major shareholders are no longer willing to provide further short-term financial assistance to the Group.

"Trading in the Company's securities on AIM was therefore suspended at the Company's request pending clarification of its financial position."

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Growth plans had been based on snapping up smaller competitors, opening destination stores and boosting online sales.

It had been announced that Daniel Quinn, who has experience in senior commercial roles at Tesco and GO Outdoors, would be joining the board as CEO in October. However, the company was forced to admit that Quinn has agreed to assist in assessing options for the business but will not be taking up his role as CEO or joining the Board at this time.

James Newman continues in his role as executive chairman until further notice.

Ten million new shares at 15p per share raised £1.5m in 2015. A new share placing during 2016 landed a further £3.75m and £1.3m was raised through a new share placing at the start of 2018. This was followed up with a secured loan of £500,000 from existing shareholders in June.

At 31 December 2017, major shareholders were S J Gross (24.1%), Tinley Nominees Limited 15.9% and Miton Group plc 12.2%.

In November 2017, Steve Gross, the company founder, stepped down as CEO but remained on the board as an executive director.

Fishing Republic website

Images: Fishing Republic

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