Business

Halfords first-half profits slump

  • 21 November 2012
  • From the section Business
Victoria Pendleton
Image caption Sales of Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton's cycle range did well

Car parts and bicycle retailer Halfords has posted a big drop in first-half profits, as strong summer cycling sales failed to offset a poor start to the year, which was hit by bad weather.

The company said it took advantage of the "summer of sport", with like-for-like cycling sales up 1.9% in the half and 14.7% in the second quarter.

But profit before tax and after exceptional items fell 22.5% to £42.4m.

That was in line with company guidance issued last month.

Revenues in the six months to 28 September came in at £455.6m, a 0.4% rise on the same period a year earlier.

'Disappointing start'

The company said its retail performance had seen two contrasting quarters.

In the first quarter, like-for-like sales - those in stores open more than a year - fell 5.6%. But in the second quarter they rose 5.6%.

"After a disappointing start, it was a particularly strong summer for cycling sales," Halfords said.

"The enthusiasm surrounding British successes in the Tour de France and at the Olympics and Paralympics helped fuel a stronger demand for cycles, cycle products and cycle accessories and we capitalised on this.

"Sales of premium cycles, particularly our exclusive Boardman and Pendleton ranges, were a feature."

Halfords recently appointed Matt Davies, the former head of Pets At Home, as its new chief executive.

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