Profits fall at Halfords as motorists trim spending
Halfords saw its half year pre-tax profits fall 20% to Â£54.7 million in the six months to 30 September as cash-strapped motorists cut back on their spending.
Sales at Halfords’ retail business were down 1.6% in the half year to £400.6 million while revenue at the Autocentres business rose 9% to £53.4 million. This meant that total group sales fell 0.5% to £454 million in the period.
Cycling sales continued to perform well, boosted by the launch of the new Carrera range in July and strong sales of accessories. In the Car Maintenance category, sales of the Halfords range of Wefit part replacement services were also strong.
Commenting on the results David Wild, chief executive, said: "In a challenging market Halfords has delivered a robust sales performance in the first half.
"The strength of our balance sheet and our cash generation mean that we are maintaining our interim dividend whilst continuing to return cash to shareholders through our share buyback programme."
The retailer said it was impossible to predict when trading conditions would ease but said it would continue to invest in value for customers.
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