Halfords shares backpedal on summer bike sales slump

Halfords staff member fixing a bike Image copyright Getty Images

Shares in UK retailer Halfords have fallen 9% after it reported a near 6% drop in half-year profits on lower bicycle sales.

It said pre-tax profits for the six months to 2 October were £46.4m compared with £49.4m a year earlier.

Halfords said the wet summer weather had put customers off buying bikes and also blamed discounting by rivals.

But its Autocentre car maintenance business saw like-for-like sales rise 3.3% in the period.

Overall the group said revenues were 1.8% higher, despite the disappointing cycle sales, with retail like-for-like sales rising 1.4% in the period.

Halfords chief executive Jill McDonald, said the performance of the group's cycles division was "disappointing" but said there were "plenty of reasons" to remain confident that the market will continue to grow over the long-term.

She also announced a new group strategy, saying the modernisation of Halfords was "not yet complete".

Halfords shares were down 41p at 389p by midday.

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