Final Results

Continued sales growth across all markets despite significant consumer headwinds

Angling Direct PLC (AIM: ANG), the leading omni-channel specialist fishing tackle and equipment retailer, is pleased to announce its financial results for the twelve months ended 31 January 2023 (FY23).

Financial highlights:

Group revenue increased by 2.2% to £74.1m

Store sales increased by 6.8% against FY22 (£38.7m) as the store rollout strategy continued

Like-for-like store sales were £38.0m (including the previously reported disruption caused by the unusually hot weather in the UK and Europe in August 2022), flat against the prior year

UK online sales, representing 90% of total online sales, decreased by 4.8%, driven by tough H1 comparatives returning to growth in H2 against the prior year

UK online sales were 57.9%, and the UK business 47.3% above pre-Covid levels, illustrating a significant step change in the Group's omni-channel offering

Our key European territories of Germany, France and The Netherlands grew 32.3% year on year

Gross margin declined by 190 bps as we consciously invested in customer prices to gain market share

Positive operating cashflow of £1.5m, with a strong balance sheet and net cash position of £14.1m. Securely positioned to meet short-term challenges and take advantage of any potential market consolidation

Operational highlights:

Successfully opened our European distribution centre in March 2022

Market share gains in all key territories including strong growth in new unique customers

Continued store rollout strategy, with a total of 45 stores at period end (FY22: 42) with Cardiff opening in early FY24. Three new stores in unserved catchments

Angling Trust qualified coaches deployed across all stores to ensure our customers enjoy the very best experience

Significant focused investment in Advanta stock and new ranges delivered 24% growth in own brand sales

Over 55,000 App downloads, further user enhancements summer 2023, optimising digital capability

As announced separately today, Sam Copeman will join the Company as CFO on 5 June 2023 and will be appointed to the Board on conclusion of the Company's AGM on 22 June 2023

Current trading and outlook

Despite the turbulent consumer environment and sustained cost pressures, management remains focused on delivering profitable growth and market share gains in the UK and Europe over the medium to long term

Total Q1 FY24 sales growth of 11.0%, with growth across all channels, including accelerated growth in Europe

Whilst management is pleased with this early sales performance it remains vigilant to the ongoing inflationary cost pressures being experienced by consumers

However, given the fundamental strengths of the business, management believes there is a significant opportunity to gain market share in a weakening competitor landscape

Andy Torrance, CEO of Angling Direct, said:

"The last twelve months have seen Angling Direct continue to grow sales despite significant consumer headwinds, including inflation and cost of living pressures across all of the Company's key markets. Our omni-channel business model continues to demonstrate considerable financial and operational resilience and we are pleased to have increased revenues to £74.1m. This performance is largely due to the outstanding work of my colleagues who continue to go above and beyond for our customers and I would like to thank them, on behalf of the Board, for their continued dedication.

Throughout the period, we continued to make good progress against our strategic objectives - establishing our European Distribution Centre, continuing our store rollout strategy as well as improving our omni-channel proposition. Looking through the current uncertain macroeconomic backdrop, our strategy remains unchanged as we continue to focus on gaining market share both in the UK and Europe over the medium term.

Looking ahead, we will continue to evolve our customer offering across all channels but with a particular focus on sustainable profitable growth and our European presence. With significant cash on the balance sheet, the Group will continue to strategically invest so long as it remains prudent to do so, and only to the extent that it retains both strong liquidity and its robust balance sheet.

In my last report as CEO, I am confident that Angling Direct is in good shape. Whilst we are vigilant as to the continuing challenging macroeconomic backdrop, I remain cautiously optimistic when I look to the future, confident that the strong foundations we have put in place through FY23 will ensure the Group is well-placed to capitalise on the numerous opportunities that will arise through the remainder of 2023 and beyond.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Sam Copeman to the Company who will join us on 5 June in the role of CFO. Having conducted a rigorous search and selection process, we are delighted to have chosen Sam to work alongside Steve to deliver on the next stage of our growth journey. I look forward to working with both of them as I move into my role of Non-executive Chairman."

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