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GO Outdoors hampered by cost of integrating Fishing Republic

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UK-based outdoor sports and leisure retail chain, GO Outdoors, says the integration costs of the Fishing Republic business hampered its performance last year.

Turnover at GO Outdoors, the UK company that acquired the Fishing Republic retail chain last year, has grown to more than £240m, a 3.3% increase.

However, figures filed by the Sheffield-based business for the year ending February 2nd, 2019, show it has slipped to a pre-tax loss of £739,000, compared to a profit of £9m the previous year.

The company, which has 64 stores across the UK, said the fall came after a challenging trading year and an increase in exceptional items, largely relating to integration costs.

EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) was £9.3m, down from £15.3m.

“The very hot weather through the summer and very mild weather through much of the autumn and winter made this an exceptionally challenging year for trading,” said the report announcing the figures. “Achieving this level of EBITDA in adverse circumstances demonstrates that our position is becoming increasingly resilient to unfavourable weather events.”

The increase in turnover was attributed to the opening of two large-format stores and two smaller outlets during the year, together with growth in the online business.

GO Outdoors completed its acquisition of Fishing Republic in December 2018 after administrators were appointed to the fishing tackle retailer. A consideration of £900,000 was reportedly paid on completion of the deal, covering goodwill, intellectual property and stock.

GO Outdoors says the deal is expected to provide a ‘huge opportunity’ to grow its fishing offer. The company has secured a new warehouse at Middlewich, in the north-west of England, to begin the process of transferring stock into one dedicated site and consolidate its supply chain.

Fashion retailer JD Sports bought GO Outdoors in 2016 for £112.3m from former private equity owners, YFM Equity Partners and the 3i Group.

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