Angling Direct PLC (LON:ANG), the largest specialist fishing tackle and equipment retailer in the UK, said it saw strong pent-up sales demand when its stores reopened following closures for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
All of the group’s UK stores are now open for business again and saw year-on-year like-for-like (LFL) sales growth of 75% between June 15, 2020, and the end of July.
Sales across all channels in the same period were up 95% on the corresponding period of 2019, despite all of its bricks and mortar stores being closed between March 24 and June 14.
Revenue in the first half of 2020 was up 21% to £32.1mln from £26.5mln in the first half of 2019, with online sales – up 43% to £17.9mln from £12.5mln – driving growth.
Angling Direct said its key European territories had performed well, with sales to Germany up 33% year-on-year, while France and the Netherlands posted sales growth of 62% and 81% respectively.
The number of unique visitors to the company's UK website increased by 1.3mln in the first half of 2020 to 3.7mln, with more than 70,000 new customers completing a purchase.
Net cash and cash equivalents at the end of July had risen to £21.0mln from £13.3mln a year earlier.
The board believes the company is “very well- placed” within its market to benefit from the trend to eschew foreign holidays.
“The impact of Covid-19 has created an exceptional sales period, with pent-up demand certainly experienced as a consequence of fisheries being closed for almost two months. Whilst the extent to which some of the exceptional trends will continue longer-term is not yet clear, with no further Covid-19 restrictions, the board is expecting sales to begin reverting to more normal trading patterns during the remainder of the year,” the company said in the trading update.