Freewheeling Halfords profits up 7.9 per cent


Freewheeling Halfords profits up 7.9 per cent
Halfords has posted a 7.9 per cent increase in first-half profits and indicated that trading during the first 26 weeks of the financial year had been in line with its expectations.

In a statement today, the car parts and bicycle retailer said that profit before tax and exceptional items was £43.5 million in the 26 weeks to September 29th, up from £40.3 million in the same period last year.

Revenue increased by 9.3 per cent over the period to £369.2 million, while like-for-like sales were up by 6.5 per cent.

Halfords said that a strong performance across all its key markets had boosted its performance.

The retailer said that the wettest May in 23 years had provided a good start to the financial year in terms of trading in car maintenance services, with strong demand for windscreen products and light bulbs reported.

Halfords said that its 'we'll fit it' proposition had also had a positive impact on car battery sales and trading in new technology products such as satellite navigation systems.

The company said that the introduction of new child seat safety legislation in September had also increased demand for child seats and booster seats, while generating an increase in footfall among both female shoppers and consumers who had not visited Halfords before.

Meanwhile, warm weather in June and July helped boost sales in camping equipment such as tents during the first half, which also saw sales of Halfords' own brand Apollo and Carrera cycling ranges grow alongside encouraging trading in hybrid, commuting and folding bikes.

Halfords revealed that it had sold more than four million cycle accessories under its Bikehut brand during the first 26 weeks of the year, indicating that the business continued to show strong potential, with the retailer opening its first standalone Bikehut store in
Brighton earlier this month.

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