Like-for-like sales at Halfords down 1.3% in second quarter
Halfords saw its retail like-for-like revenue edge down 1.3% in its second quarter as the company suffered a fall in sales in its cycling category.
In the eight weeks to 28 August, cycling like-for-like sales dropped by 11% which the company said reflected higher levels of discounting in the sector and poor weather deterring casual cyclists. In contrast, like-for-like sales in the cycle repair category climbed by 27.6%.
The company said trading in all other areas of its retail business remained “strong” and in line with, or above, expectations.
Jill McDonald, Halfords chief executive, said: "In my first three months at Halfords I have reviewed all aspects of the group and it is clear to me that Halfords is a strong business with a well-balanced portfolio of product and service categories, talented colleagues and considerable growth potential.
“This recent weakness in our cycling sales is disappointing, but it comes after two years of very strong growth in the category and has been partly offset by strong growth in both car maintenance and car enhancement sales, which is a testament to the balanced nature of the business."
The company said it will soon be launching a complete refresh of its children's bikes and accessories ranges which forms part of a pipeline of innovation for bikes and accessories.
Looking ahead, Halfords said: “Through mix benefits in margin and prudent cost control in line with the first half, management anticipates full year group profit before tax to be broadly in line with prevailing market consensus.”
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