StockMarketWire.com - Fishing tackle and equipment retailer Angling Direct reported a fall in profit as higher costs offset a jump in revenue.

For the six months ended 31 July, pre-tax profit fell to £0.32m from 0.48m a year earlier, despite revenue rising 21% to £26.5m.

Cost of sales rose to £18.0m from £14.7m a year earlier.

Online revenue increased by 9.6% to £11.9m for the half, supported by further investment in the group's e-commerce platform and focused marketing in the UK and Europe, the company said.

The higher sales were achieved on lower gross margins, which fell to 32.1% in the period, from 32.9% a year earlier.

Angling Direct said it expected to open 34 stores by the financial year end after opening two stores and acquiring two stores in February, which took its total to 28 stores.

The company said it was on track to deliver results in line with market expectations for the full year.

It had started the second half of the year 'well', with record sales recorded both in-store and online in August, and like-for-like store growth of 11.8%, despite the issues facing the wider UK retail sector.

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