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Angling Direct shares sink as tough competition drags on margins

Angling Direct's margins weakened as it tried to remain competitive with prices after heavy discounting by rivals
fishing
Angling Direct's chairman says there are not enough new anglers coming into the sport

Fishing tackle and equipment retailer Angling Direct plc (LON:ANG) posted a sharp rise in first-half profits and turnover on the back of its expansion in Europe.

In the six months to July 31, pre-tax profit increased to £570,000 from £90,000 a year ago and revenues jumped to £21.94mln from £14.08mln. Retail store revenue increasing by 60% to £9.93mln as the company opened seven new stores in the UK, bringing its total to 22 stores.  Online revenue gained 64% to £10.84mln.

However, margins dipped to 32.9% from 33.6% as it cut prices to remain competitive after discounting by rivals. 

READ: Angling Direct lands Preston-based angling supplies business

“We will continue to monitor these factors and look to improve our margin by focusing on our suppliers and other specific product opportunities,” Angling Direct said.

Chairman Martyn Page said the group had an advantage over rivals as most of them are “cash-strapped, old-style, non-professional, and as such, they came out of the winter short of cash and short of sales”.

However, he said the average age of an angler is 47 – which the company would like to see come down.

“From the recruitment point of view it is fairly flat – there are not enough new anglers coming into the sport.”

Shares dropped 1.8% to 106p in afternoon trading. 

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