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Fishing Republic hopes to catch trade as fishing season starts

Fishing tackle retailer said trading in the early part of the year had met its hopes

The new fishing season typically coincides with the onset of better spring weather

Fishing tackle retailer Fishing Republic PLC (LON:FISH) reported a quiet start to the year but forecast a pick-up as the fishing season starts.

The group, which listed on AIM in June last year, said trading in the first few months of the new financial year - traditionally its quietest period - had met its expectations.

It described the year's results as encouraging and said it was well-placed for the new fishing season, which typically coincides with the onset of better spring weather.

Revenue increased by 22% to £4.12mln with second half sales up by 45% year-on-year, having benefited from £1.5mln of capital raised in a placing in June.

The group also raised £500,000 in a placing in the second half to fund expansion of its store network.

Gross profit rose 21% to £1.88mln, pre-tax profit before exceptional items lifted 3% to £305,000 but reported pre-tax profit was £5,700 against £295,000 last time.

In December, the primarily Northern England-based group bought Cotswold Angling near Swindon, which it said would give it a presence in the south.

It also signed leases on three shops, in Hull, Birmingham and Crewe, which opened in the first quarter of this year.

Chief executive Steve Gross said: "We remain very optimistic about prospects as we look to continue to develop the business."

Shares fell 2.5p, or 7.8%, to 29.5p in lunchtime London trading.

Quick facts: Fishing Republic

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Market: AIM
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