Angling Direct plc (AIM: ANG), the largest specialist fishing tackle and equipment retailer in the UK, is pleased to confirm that this morning, all 38 of its retail stores will fully re-open following the lifting of government restrictions.
During this second lockdown period, Angling Direct's webstore continued to trade uninterrupted, whilst all retail sites offered customers a 'Call and Collect' service. Consequently, the Company was able to continue to meet consumer demand, prioritise profitable growth and did not need to utilise the government's Job Retention Scheme in this period.
Since reporting its half year results covering the six months to 31 July 2020, the Company has continued to perform well, with sales growth across all channels for the nine months to 31 October 2020 up by 30.5% on the FY20 comparable period to £54.5m. The Board can also confirm that trading over the Black Friday period in the last week of November was a success and delivered in line with the Company's expectations.
Alongside the Company's ambition to maintain a market leading omni-channel offer, Angling Direct continues to make good progress with its refreshed strategy of developing margin across all channels, driving own brand sales, improving working capital and embedding operational efficiencies within both its stores and distribution centre.
As a result of this strong trading, and the enhanced visibility over our operations as stores reopen, the Board believes the Company is now likely to exceed current market expectations with a forecast pre IFRS 16 EBITDA outturn for FY21, of not less than £3.8m.
Whilst the Board is confident that its market leading position, strategy and resilient business model positions it well for further profitable growth, ongoing uncertainties relating to the pandemic and Brexit mean that the Board will continue to adopt a prudent approach to planning for the next financial year. The Company maintains a strong balance sheet with the Company's cash balance as at 30 November 2020 being £17.9m.