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Gloucestershire Business News

Big fall in profits for Halfords

Car and bike specialist, Halfords, has scaled back its investment plans, following a 24 per cent dip in annual profits.

The retailer, which has stores in Gloucester, Cheltenham, Stroud and Tewkesbury, as well as autocentres in Cheltenham, Gloucester and Cirencester, used the publication of its annual results to warn that challenging trading conditions meant that profitability faced a squeeze in the current year, with earnings likely to be in line with those in 2018/19, as reported by Sky.

Halfords reported pre-tax profits of £51m for the year to 29th March, down from £67.1m in the previous year.

That was despite revenues rising 1.1 per cent on a like-for-like basis to just over £1.1bn. The company said that a mild winter had boosted cycling and like-for-like sales were up 2.6 per cent.

Halfords blamed the warm weather for a 0.4 per cent drop in motoring sales, but said its autocentres, which offer services like MOTs and servicing, performed well across the year, with sales rising by 2.6 per cent.

The company said uncertainty over Brexit meant its customer-focused transformation targets had to be scaled back, in favour of improving its cost base and maximising efficiencies.

It said capital investment for the current year is likely to be around £35m, slightly below the £40m to £60m guidance.

Shares in the company were down three per cent this morning.

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