Halfords profits slump 23%
Car parts and bicycle retailer Halfords said half-year profits slumped by 23 per cent despite a “summer of sport” boost to sales.
The chain reported interim underlying profits of £41.9 million, down from £54.7 million a year earlier, after retail sales fell 1.9 per cent to £393 million in its half year to September 28th.
But Halfords said the so-called “Wiggins effect” helped improve trade after a torrid first quarter, when like-for-like sales plunged 7.5 per cent.
The group saw second quarter comparable retail sales rise 4.6 per cent thanks to a surge in cycling sales and repairs after the British success in the Tour de France and Olympics from the likes of Bradley Wiggins, Sir Chris Hoy and Lizzie Armitstead.
Chairman Dennis Millard said Halfords had been able to take full advantage of the opportunities provided by the “summer of sport”.
The group added that while it was cautious about pressures on consumers in the run up to Christmas, it remains on track to make a pre-tax profit of up to £70 million this year.
Mr Millard did not give any guidance on trading since September, but said the consumer environment was challenging.