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Gloucestershire Business News

We love to ride (and buy) our bicycles, according to latest Halfords sales figures

If the latest trading update released by Halfords is anything to go by, we Brits love to ride our bicycles.

Sales in the firm's retail cycling arm were up 5.9 per cent for the 14 weeks to January 3, the third quarter of the firm's financial year.

An update released to shareholders this morning showed that cycling sales were up 2.1 per cent for the first 40 weeks of the year.

Overall sales for the Halfords Group for the 14 weeks of quarter three were up 4.6 per cent, 1.3 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

The group called it a "solid sales performance in the period with positive LFL growth in both retail and autocentres."

A statement added that with "continued gross margin growth and tight cost control" profits were in line to be between £50 and 55million for the full-year.

Halfords CEO Graham Stapleton said: "I am pleased with our overall performance in Q3, with total revenue growing nearly 5per cent in the quarter.

"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 prod-uct ranges and differentiated proposition.

"Approximately 85per cent of our bike range is unique to Halfords, including our successful part-nership 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.

"As National Garage Chain of the Year in 2019, Autocentres has continued to demonstrate good sales growth, organically and through acquisition, and remains well on track to deliver a 3rd year of profit growth.

Though pleased with our performance, market conditions remained subdued and we are not antic-ipating a near-term improvement.

"We will continue to focus on improving our customer proposition, building our services business and managing our costs and operations tightly.

"In the context of the current retail market I am pleased to be reporting a positive L4L performance and to reconfirm profit guidance for the full year."

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