What Angling Direct does:
Angling Direct is an AIM-listed UK retailer, which sells fishing tackle products through its network of stores and its own websites.
The company has 32 stores in the UK and has plans to open 12 more.
It exports products to 38 countries in Europe via its online store. It is planning to establish a European site by next summer to cut postage costs, potentially a warehouse.
Angling Direct specialises in carp fishing, which makes up 65% of the business. It is the largest specialist fishing tackle retailer in the UK.
- The company is doing well despite the UK retail crisis thanks to its niche offering
- Online marketing has been one of the key areas of investment to improve the customer experience
- Two UK stores will be opened by December, with another ten planned for 2020
- In October Angling acquired fishing tackle retailer Erics Angling Centre for £1.1mln
- Half-year revenues jumped 33% year-on-year to £26.5mln, with like-for-like sales up 14.9% and underlying profits almost 16% higher at £1.25mln
- Higher depreciation costs meant pre-tax profits dipped to £323,000 from £480,000
Angling Direct is tapping into the £400mln UK fishing market with relatively low competition.
The current focus is consolidating the UK stores, with plans to expand to key European countries such as France, Germany and Benelux through new-build stores rather than acquisitions.
Angling looks at attracting more people into fishing, such as the younger generations, as well as bringing back those who have left it behind, to build its own community of customers.
While the current strategy revolves around growth, Angling will look at establishing a dividend policy in the medium term.
The firm has also been active in reducing its environmental impact by reducing the amount of packaging and encouraging fishing line recycling, which subsequently reduce costs.
What the boss says: Martyn Page, co-founder and executive chairman
“We analyse exactly where we put our stores and our data has proven itself time and time again. Typically we will spend about £400,000 in opening a new store, and that is a brand new store rather than an acquisition, and within 18 months the stores would be producing £100-140,000 EBITDA.”
“Whilst we are getting that return and we get fully consolidated, why would not we open more stores?”