Monday, February 20, 2017

News: Fishing Republic flying following flotation


Rotherham-based retailer, Fishing Republic is expecting its revenue figures to show an increase of approximately 40% year-on-year.

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.

In a trading update, the firm said that it continues to make encouraging progress and results for the year are expected to be in line with current market expectations. Revenue is expected to show an increase of approximately 40% year-on-year, driven by the addition of new stores, organic growth across existing stores, and strong growth in own website sales.

Last September the group has decided to rebase its profit forecasts for the current financial year to allow it to invest for growth in both its store network and online. This came after a strong balance sheet position. For the six months ended June 30 2016, the group reported that revenue increased to £2.5m, up by 34% from the £1.87m in the same six months of 2015. Profit before tax was £157,000 and compares to a loss of £150,000 reported last year after exceptional costs of £299,000.


The latest update added: "We are making good progress with our online sales strategy, where we are transitioning away from third party platforms to own website sales, where margins are higher and we own the customer. As a result, our own website sales increased by 132% year-on-year and accounted for c. 40% of total online sales for the year. As expected, with lower third party sales, total online sales decreased but, importantly, overall gross margins improved. We will continue to expand our in-house capabilities in digital technology, marketing and customer data in the year ahead to support this transition strategy."

A new website is set to launch in March.

The placing of ten million new shares at 15p per share in 2015 raised £1.5m. A share placing in 2016 raised a further £3.75m.

Floating on AIM, the directors believe that Fishing Republic is the only participant in the market looking to act as a consolidator, snapping up smaller, often family-run businesses.

Fishing Republic operates 16 stores and the three new stores opened in the first half of the financial year, in South Birmingham, Crewe and Hull, are continuing to build their sales in line with management forecasts. The latest opened in Milton Keynes in January and two further stores, in Reading and Ipswich, are expected to open before the end of the first quarter. Further openings are planned later in the year.

Fishing Republic website

Images: Fishing Republic / Facebook


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