Angling Direct has upped its full-year guidance following a full year of strong trading, expecting to report a 7.2% increase in revenue for FY22 to £72.5m, against FY21 sales of £67.6m, representing a 36.3% increase on a two-year basis.
The group said this “strong performance” was achieved despite all of its retail stores being forced to close between 1 February 2021 and 11 April 2021, only being able to operate on a “call and collect” basis.
The group nonetheless reported “robust” store sales as Covid-19 trading restrictions eased during FY22, with total store sales increasing 19.9% to £38.7m, or rising 38.4% on a two-year basis, while the total number of stores increased from 38 to 42 in the year.
Meanwhile, like-for-like store sales increased by 14.1%, partly as a consequence of fewer lost trading days due to Covid-19 restrictions – with 70 days or 19% available trading days in FY22 compared with 134 days or 37% available trading days in FY21.
Total online sales declined “modestly”, however, by 4.3% to £33.8m, down from £35.3m in FY21, but on a two-year basis grew 33.9%. UK online sales, representing 92% of total online sales, increased 2.7% while European sales reduced 39.3%, with its key European territories of Germany, France and Netherlands declining 21.8% as the group was impacted by increased export costs and customer fulfilment times post-Brexit.
The group still expects a return to growth in Europe as a result of the imminent opening of its European distribution centre, which “continues to progress on plan”.
Andy Torrance, CEO of Angling Direct, said: “We are extremely pleased with the company’s trading performance through what has been another challenging year. Despite significant Government restrictions endured during the period, we have delivered against our operational and strategic objectives.
“We have reported record revenues, opened four new stores and continued to invest in our long-term growth strategy, including the imminent opening of our European Distribution centre in the Netherlands.”
He added: “This investment as well as our investment in technology and strong balance sheet leave the company well positioned to accelerate our growth strategy. These achievements would not have been possible without the continued commitment of all our Angling Direct colleagues who I would like to thank again for their incredible support throughout the year.”