Fishing Republic shares sink as it warns of a loss and replaces its CEO

Alys Key
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The scene is not so idyllic for Fishing Republic this morning as its shares sank (Source: Getty)

Shares in Fishing Republic sank 43 per cent this morning after the company said it expected to make a loss for the year.

The fishing equipment retailer also said its chief executive will step down with immediate effect to be replaced by former SuperGroup e-commerce director Chris Griffin.

The group said in a trading update that sales had taken a dramatic turn downstream, with like-for-likes dropping 13 per cent in October, compared with growth of 16 per cent in September.

The company added that at the current rate of business, it will now miss market expectations and swing to a loss for the year to 31 December.

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Shares dropped as much as 43.4 per cent in early trading. At time of writing its price was down 40.8 per cent at 22.5p.

Fishing Republic said the declining performance was due to "a substantial increase in price competition as major competitors and independent stores have aggressively sought to maintain their market share".

"I am looking forward to addressing the issues in the business in order to turn around its trading performance," said newly-installed chief executive Chris Griffin.

"The ongoing consolidation of the fishing tackle market provides an excellent opportunity to continue to grow the business, and there is enormous scope to improve the trading performance in what should be a natural e-commerce sector."

It comes a month after competitor Angling Direct unveiled its first results since listing on Aim, boasting increased revenue and profits.

The race to corner market share in the fishing retail business has forced companies to modernise their online offering as well as secure key bricks-and-mortar sites.

Former chief executive Steve Gross will remain on the board as executive director, but two other directors will leave Fishing Republic after the dramatic change in performance. Operations director (and Steve Gross's wife) Zoe Gross and IT Director Paul Hagerty are stepping down from the board with immediate effect.

Read more: Turbot-charged: Fishing industry nets strongest year since financial crisis

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