Halfords delivers first half sales and profit growth
Halfords has grown its first-half revenue by 13.9% to £873.5 million despite “challenging” market conditions.
In the six-month period to 29 September, like-for-like sales rose by 8.3%.
While sales in needs-based categories, such as retail motoring and motoring services, delivered strong growth, cycling sales were more challenging and came in below expectations.
However, Halfords’ B2B business grew its sales by 37% which meant it accounted for nearly a third of group revenue. Halfords’ autocentres division also performed well with a like-for-like sales uplift of 18%.
Meanwhile, underlying pre-tax profit increased by 15.8% to £21.3 million,
Graham Stapleton, Halfords chief executive, said: “Despite the challenging and volatile trading environment and slower than expected recovery in some of our markets, we have made a good start to the year, with substantial sales and profit growth, and increased market share across the business. At the same time, we supported our customers through the ongoing cost of living crisis by delivering great value – when they need it most.
“In the face of continuing economic uncertainty, we remain fully focused on optimising every element of the business, and I’m particularly pleased with the very strong performance of Autocentres, where we are delivering significantly improved returns. In light of this, we are accelerating capital investment in the garage services operating model and customer experience in ten towns in the balance of this financial year.”
Giving details of more recent trading, Halfords said it had seen some market softening in discretionary big-ticket categories in the last couple of months, which has been reflected in slower like-for-like-sales growth. As a result, the retailer believes that its full year underlying pre-tax profit could fall within a narrower range of £48 million to £53 million.
Halfords said: “We continue to believe that our strategic investments provide a strong platform for growth, validated by our market share gains in this period. Looking beyond FY24, assuming markets recover in line with projections, we remain confident in our mid-term target of £90 million to £110 million for underlying pre-tax profit.”