Halfords sticks to profit outlook after strong Christmas quarter
Sales at British bicycles to car parts retailer beat market expectations with rise of 7%
Halfords said retail sales at stores open over a year rose 7 per cent in the 15 weeks to January 13th, its fiscal third quarter. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
British bicycles to car parts retailer Halfords on Thursday maintained its profit expectations for the full 2016-17 year after beating market expectations for sales in its key Christmas quarter.
Halfords also announced a special dividend of 10 pence per share to be paid next month and said it had bought a minority stake in TyresOnTheDrive.com, a UK mobile tyre fitting business, for up to £8 million .
The group said retail sales at stores open over a year rose 7 per cent in the 15 weeks to January 13th, its fiscal third quarter, highlighting growth in new ranges.
That compared to analysts’ average forecast of 3.6 per cent and first half growth of 2.2 per cent.
“There is no change to our expectation of group profit before tax for the current financial year, which is in line with market consensus,” it said.
Before the update analysts were on average forecasting a pretax profit before one off items for 2016-17 of £74.2 million, down from £81.5 million in 2015-16.
In November, Halfords reported a 12 per cent drop in first-half profit and said the fall in the value of the pound following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union would remain a major challenge going forward.
“We have developed detailed plans in response to the increase in costs from adverse foreign exchange movement and we are confident that we will be able to fully mitigate the impact over time,” it said on Thursday.