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Halfords issues profit warning

Halfords, the cycle and car parts retailer, announced today that pre-tax profits would be lower than expected and would fall between £124million to £127million. This is down from the £127million to £135million predicted in January.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Halfords issues profit warning

Although cycle sales had returned to growth with an increase of 8.7% in the thirteen weeks to 1 April after disappointing Christmas sales, like-for-like
sales for car maintenance, which includes car parts and body repair, fell by 11.7%.

David Wild, Halfords CEO, commented, “We believe the environment will remain difficult for customers. We are responding with a trading strategy that offers great value, expert services and many new products; including the re-launch of our entire Premium Cycle range. In Halfords Autocentres we will build on the good early results since rebranding. Our plans are supported by the launch of our new campaign "That's Helpful That's Halfords" which will reinforce our unique service proposition. These initiatives give us the potential to trade more strongly in the year ahead.”

The group also announced a share buyback programme of up to £75m. It said: “The strength of our cash generation and our balance sheet means that we can both return capital to our shareholders, maintain our dividend policy and retain the flexibility to invest when we identify the right opportunity."

Halfords has 464 stores in the UK and Ireland.

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