Angling Direct PLC (LON:ANG) shares rose on Wednesday as the retailer said it will beat its own profit expectations this year after sales continued to be strong in spite of the second coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown restrictions.

All its 38 stores will reopen fully today with the end of the lockdown in England, said the fishing equipment specialist.

During the second lockdown, the group’s shops operated on a call and collect basis, but even at this restricted level demand was strong said the AIM-listed firm and it did not use the government’s job retention scheme.

Sales have grown across all channels, it added, and for the nine months to October 31, 2020, had risen by 30.5% compared to a year earlier to £54.5mln.

Trading over the Black Friday period in the last week of November was also a success, said Angling Direct, and the plan to develop a market-leading omni-channel business remains on track.

 “As a result of this strong trading, and the enhanced visibility over our operations as stores reopen, the board believes the Company is now likely to exceed current market expectations with a forecast pre IFRS 16 EBITDA outturn for FY21, of not less than £3.8m,” said the trading update.

The company’s cash balance as of November 30, 2020, was £17.9mln.

Angling Direct said it intends to release a pre-close update in February 2021, following its year-end on January 31, 2021.

In afternoon trading, Angling Direct shares were 8.7% higher at 68.50p.

 — Adds share price —

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