Halfords shares jump on sales rise

Victoria Pendleton at the Olympics Victoria Pendleton's bike range did particularly well

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Shares in cycling-to-car-parts firm Halfords have jumped after it reported a better-than-expected rise in sales in the April-to-June period.

Sales in stores open more than a year rose 8.8% in the quarter.

That was largely driven by a 15.5% surge in bicycle sales, with brands endorsed by Victoria Pendleton and Chris Boardman doing particularly well.

However, chief executive Matt Davies admitted the comparisons were with a weak period at the same time in 2012.

He was brought in last year to help revive the company's fortunes after a year in which sales slumped.

In May, Mr Davies detailed a three-year plan to turn the business around.

Halfords Group

Last Updated at 24 Jul 2014, 11:36 ET *Chart shows local time Halfords Group intraday chart
price change %
482.50 p -
-6.70
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-1.37

"We are in the early stages of our Getting Into Gear 2016 plan... designed to significantly improve our retail customer experience through the friendly expertise of our colleagues and step changes in our store and online environment," said Mr Davies.

"Our focus is on delivering this plan over the medium term to drive sustainable and profitable revenue growth."

Shares closed 11.4% higher at 354.50p on the news.

Online retail sales were 15.5%, with cycling making up more than half the online revenues. Sat-nav online sales were 9.4%, while sales at the company's Autocentres fell 0.9%.

Halfords has 466 stores in the UK and Ireland and 287 Autocentres. Together they employ 12,000 people.

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