Wednesday, September 2, 2015

News: Fishing Republic in line with expectations


Rotherham-based retailer, Fishing Republic has reported its trading results for the six months ended June 30 2015, the Group's first as a publicly 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 report said that the business made good progress during the period under review and that the successful admission to AIM has marked an important step in the Group's continuing development.

Revenue was up by 2% to £1.87m compares to £1,83m in the same period in 2014. Profit before tax was up by 38% to £149,000 from £108,000 in the same six months last year.

James Newman, non-executive chairman at Fishing Republic, said: "Fishing Republic's admission to AIM is a significant step forward in the Group's continuing development.

The decision to seek a quotation was driven by our belief that there is an exciting opportunity to build a significant presence in what is currently a highly fragmented marketplace. Our ambitions are to grow both organically and via acquisition.

"Trading since the end of June has been good, and we continue to progress potential acquisition opportunities. Overall, the Board expects further progress in the second half of the financial year."

The move to AIM has already raised the Group's profile and the board believes that it is now better positioned to execute its growth ambitions.

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 18,500 different angling products and accounts for around 49% of sales. £1.7m in online sales was secured in 2014.

Further large format "destination" stores are set to open, with Birmingham targeted due to the presence of one of the largest angling clubs in the UK. The small store in Hull is also set to move into new larger premises.

Fishing Republic is also launching a Shareholder Incentive Scheme, which offers shareholders' holding at least 25,000 shares the opportunity to apply for a Shareholder Privilege Card. This card provides holders with access to savings on a par with staff discounts on any purchases made in store or online.

Steve Gross, chief executive at Fishing Republic (pictured), said: "I am pleased to report Fishing Republic's first set of results since joining AIM in early June. Trading results are in line with our expectations and we are pleased to see a material improvement in gross margins, helped by better procurement and working capital utilisation.

"We intend to add further large format "destination" stores and are also focused on growing our online sales and have added additional resources in this area since our admission to AIM. In addition, we see an opportunity to increase sales of "own brand" products over the next few years."

Fishing Republic website

Images: Fishing Republic


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