Level 2

Halfords backs FY profit guidance after Christmas sale rise

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Thursday 16 Jan 2020

Halfords backs FY profit guidance after Christmas sale rise

(Sharecast News) - Halfords maintained its full-year profit guidance on Thursday as it posted a rise in sales over the festive period.
In the 14 weeks to 3 January, sales at the bicycle and car parts retailer increased 4.6%, with like-for-like sales up 1.3% thanks to a strong performance form its cycling segment and continued growth in auto centres and B2B.

Retail cycling sales were up 5.9% during the period on a LFL basis, with growth broadly based across the bike categories.

"Our work to optimise the cycling space in our retail stores together with a more innovative and differentiated range has created a better shopping experience for our customers during the peak holiday period. This in turn has delivered strong sales growth as well as better margins and reduced working capital levels," it said.

Retail motoring sales declined 2.7% LFL, which was an improvement on the first half.

Retail sales were up 0.6%, autocentre sales surged 31.2% and Halfords reaffirmed full-year profit guidance of £50m to £55m.

Chief executive officer Graham Stapleton said: "Our results reflect the positive actions we have taken across the group to deliver on our strategy, particularly motoring services, which grew strongly.

"Within retail, cycling performed particularly well, as customers responded to our innovative product ranges and differentiated proposition. Approximately 85% of our bike range is unique to Halfords, including our successful partnership with Disney and the development of an innovative range with Trunki, both of which helped to sell a record number of Kids bikes in the period. In addition, our ability to provide customers with a unique, free, build and storage offer was met with strong demand, as we built 86,000 bikes in the week before Christmas."

Stapleton also said that market conditions remained "subdued" and the company is not expecting a near-term improvement.

At 1000 GMT, the shares were up 6.4% at 154.80p.


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