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Gloucestershire Business News

Halfords reports strong first half thanks to cycling boom

The nationwide cycle and motor accessories retailer has revealed a jump in interim profits, boosted by a demand for bikes during the pandemic.

Halfords' latest financial results released today show underlying profits up 116 per cent to £56 million in six months to October 2, up from £25.9 million for the same period in 2019.

Group sales also climbed 6.7 per cent like-for-like to £639 million, up from £582.7 million for the same period last year.

Retail like-for-like sales rose 8.1 per cent to £524 million, with cycling revenues increasing by 54 per cent. In contrast, motoring product sales dropped 23.7 per cent which reflects a drop in car journeys due to lockdown.

Chief executive officer Graham Stapleton said: "We are very pleased to have achieved such a strong first half performance against the backdrop of one of the most challenging trading environments in recent history.

"We have worked hard to capitalise on the cycling market tailwinds by sourcing more stock from existing and new suppliers, as well as launching new products and brands to serve the high level of demand for our cycling products and services.

"Despite the headwinds we have seen in motoring, with UK traffic 30% lower than pre-Covid-19 levels and the impact of the MOT deferment, our 'Road Ready' campaign and the investments we have made in our motoring services business have enabled us to increase market share and grow the business in Q2."

Shares in the business are up 55 per cent so far in 2020 and it added that trading for the first five weeks of its second half remain "relatively strong".

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