Rotherham-based fishing tackle retailer Fishing Republic, which had an IPO in 2015, issued a trading update for the financial year to December 31 and said its website sales increased by 132% year-on-year and that its overall revenue is expected to show a 40% year-on-year increase.
“The company continues to make encouraging progress and results for the year are expected to be in line with current market expectations,” said Fishing Republic.
“Revenue is expected to show an increase of approximately 40% year-on-year, driven by the addition of new stores, organic growth across existing stores, and strong growth in own website sales.
“We are making good progress with our online sales strategy, where we are transitioning away from third party platforms to own website sales, where margins are higher and we own the customer.
“As a result, our own website sales increased by 132% year-on-year and accounted for 40% of total online sales for the year.
“As expected, with lower third party sales, total online sales decreased but, importantly, overall gross margins improved.
“We will continue to expand our in-house capabilities in digital technology, marketing and customer data in the year ahead to support this transition strategy.”
The company said three new stores opened in the first half of the financial year — in Birmingham, Crewe and Hull — and they were continuing to build their sales in line with management forecasts.
A Lincoln store, acquired in September 2016, had now been fully integrated and its sales since acquisition are ahead of the prior year.
The firm also opened a new store in Mildenhall just before the year end and one in Milton Keynes in January 2017.
Two more stores, in Reading and Ipswich, are expected to open before the end of the first quarter and further openings are planned later in the year.
Full year results will be announced towards the end of April.