// Angling Direct has seen sales grow in the first half of 2021 but warns annual revenue will fall short of market expectations
// The focus for the business remains on gaining market share both in the UK and Europe over the medium to long term
Angling Direct has seen its first half sales rise by 1.3% year-on-year to £38.9 million as it focuses on gaining market share both in the UK and Europe, however, less than ideal fishing conditions caused by the heatwave has impacted its trading in the usually busy month of August.
While its first quarter sales grew by 5.4%, pressure on discretionary spending and consumer confidence meant that second quarter sales fell by 1.6%.
The UK specialist fishing tackle retailer, which has shops in Halesowen and Willenhall saw online sales decline by 7.9% to £17m with UK online sales reducing by 11.1% to £15.3m overall in the period, although UK sales saw only a 0.2% fall in the second quarter.
The retailer said the previous year’s online sales had been helped by store restrictions brought on by the pandemic.
Following the opening of the retailer’s European distribution centre in March 2022, sales from its key European territories grew by 55% in the period and jumped to 87.5% in its second quarter.
During the half year the retailer opened one new store in Washington in July, now operating a total of 43 stores across the UK and a further two new stores are scheduled to open in 2022.
Looking ahead, Angling Direct said it will continue to focus on market share growth in the UK and Europe.
However it said that the impact from the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, declining consumer confidence, inflation and adverse fishing conditions caused by the heatwave have meant that the retailer now expects expects to generate revenue marginally below current market expectations for 2022-2023.
Earnings before tax are expected to be in the range of between £3m and £3.4m. It had previously expected revenue of £82m and earnings of £4.3m.
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