THE UK’s largest and fastest expanding specialist fishing tackle and equipment retailer is set to push ahead with even more growth.

Angling Direct plc has raised approximately £20 million through the issue of new shares at 92.5 pence each.

The placing was over-subscribed, with strong support from both new and existing institutional shareholders.

Angling Direct is one of only two angling retail PLCs, and currently enjoys about eight per cent market share of a £570m UK market.

Angling Direct is looking to double the company’s revenues to approximately £100 million over the medium term.

Darren Bailey, chief executive of Angling Direct, told Angler’s Mail: “Our plan for 20 new stores in two years is ambitious but we believe it is realistic and achievable.

“With approximately 1,800 angling-orientated retailers, fragmentation in the market is high with significant scope to consolidate and for us to expand.

“Part of the new money raised is to pay for extra staff in the infrastructure to implement our plans.

“We are opening a new store in Peterborough the weekend of October 26 and then we will have 24 stores in all with several more already in the pipeline.

“As well as building on new sites we also acquire existing businesses if they are large enough.

“I am aware that the numbers fishing are flat at the moment although licence sale figures don’t take into account things like people who only fish abroad which is growing in popularity.

“Anyone involved in the angling industry has a responsibility to promote the sport and Angling Direct does currently support initiatives from people like the Angling Trust and the Angling Trade Association with National Fishing Month.

“On a local level our stores do talk to local fisheries about trying to improve access particularly for younger people who are sometimes deterred by the cost of fishing and transport problems.

“Going forward we all need to do more to encourage both younger people into the sport and tempt former anglers to return,” Darren added.

Why Angling Direct raised £20 m:

  • To open approximately 20 new stores in the UK in 2019 and 2020.
  • Website development including the roll-out of native language sites in Europe.
  • European media and marketing plan.
  • Facilitate the exploration of potential strategic marketing and aquisition opportunities.
  • Increase the headcount across the business.
  • General working capital and expansion of the Advanta® product lines.

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