ANGLING Direct said it had enjoyed “extremely robust” trading over the first half of the year as it plans to open new stores across the UK.
The company, which opened a new store in Leeds last week, said revenue was in line with management’s expectations, increasing by 21 per cent. to £26.52m in the six months ended 31 July 2019.
Angling Direct said it was delighted to achieve strong store and e-commerce sales, in what it described as a “challenging period for the wider UK retail sector”.
It said its store expansion programme remains on track, with the company’s latest store opening in Leeds on August 10 .
In a trading update, the company said: “This brings the total number of Angling Direct stores across the country to 29 and further enhances the company’s footprint across the UK.
“The Leeds store offers a 5,500 sq. ft. display area and is located just two miles south of Leeds city centre, in the City South Retail Park.
“The store is the first fishing tackle “destination store” of its kind in the area...Looking ahead, the company continues to assess opportunities to expand its presence through strategic acquisitions, as well as new store openings in areas with a strong angling demographic.”
Over the half year, retail store sales increased by 41 per cent to £14m, boosted by the company’s expanding footprint, with five new stores opening in the period.
Online sales increased 10 per cent to £11.9m as the company benefited from the continued investment in its e-commerce platform and expansion into European markets.
Angling Direct’s chief executive officer, Darren Bailey, commented: “I am pleased to report that the company’s performance for the first half of the year is extremely robust, despite parts of the retail sector experiencing difficulties.
“Our commitment to providing a very high standard of customer experience in-store, whilst also guaranteeing product availability across our network, has been key to delivering like-for-like sales for the period up 15 per cent.
He added: “We have demonstrated that our strategy to operate both online and in-store works effectively together in niche markets.
“We remain focused on our strategy of consolidation, as well as on the roll out of new e-commerce platforms in Europe, in order to continue to deliver value and growth.
“We are excited to have opened a new store in Leeds, which is situated within a very popular angling region and will offer products for all disciplines of angling.
“The store houses a full-size Pole alley, a new offering designed to deliver an immersive retail experience.
“Customer experience and service, combined with our ability to identify suitable locations for new stores and continually enhance our online offering, both here and in Europe, is paramount in driving growth and brand value.
“We look forward to updating the market on our further progress in due course.”
The number of unique users visiting the company’s UK website increased by 12.2 per cent with online conversion up to 5.66 per cent from 5.24 per cent in the same period last year.
Angling Direct said it is particularly pleased with the unique user growth of its German, French and Benelux websites.
The company’s cash position at the half year remained strong at £13m, the statement added.