Thursday 8 December 2016

Two wheels good, four wheels bad for Halfords

James Davey

Published 22/01/2016 | 02:30

Cycling-related sales a bright spot for the retailer as warmer December weather affected car-linked products. Photo: Jason Alden/Bloomberg
Cycling-related sales a bright spot for the retailer as warmer December weather affected car-linked products. Photo: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Retailer Halfords reported a fall in sales of motoring products in the Christmas quarter, but a recovery in cycling-related sales and cost savings left its full-year profit forecast intact, sending its shares up to 11pc.

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In November, the bikes to car parts retailer had reported a near 6pc fall in first-half profit, blaming a sharp drop-off in bicycle sales over the summer. But it said yesterday that underlying cycling-related sales had returned to growth in the 15-weeks to January 15, its fiscal third quarter. Chief executive Jill McDonald said the firm had won market share.

Halfords said overall retail sales at stores open more than a year were flat in the third quarter, an improvement on a second-quarter fall of 0.6pc. Like-for-like sales of motoring products fell 0.6pc, while cycling-related sales were up 1.1pc.

"We are pleased with the group's performance, given the unprecedented weather conditions," said McDonald, who joined from fast-food chain McDonald's in May.

She said motoring product sales suffered from mild December weather, with lower demand for winter-related products, such as de-icer, screenwash and batteries. Halfords expects to make a pretax profit in the current year of between £78m and £82m (€102-€107m), down from £84.1m last year. (Reuters)

Irish Independent

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