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Halfords CEO exits as profits plummet

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Bicycle & car parts retailer Halfords has announced the immediate exit of CEO David Wild as it revealed a 5.2 per cent drop in total group sales.

Wild, who will be replaced in the interim period by non-executive Chairman Dennis Millard while the board searches for a suitable successor, has been with the retailer for four years and has been at the helm during a difficult trading period which has seen the group issue a number of profit warnings.

Commenting on his departure, Wild said: “I have enjoyed my time at Halfords and feel we have accomplished a great deal during my tenure as CEO.

“Now that we have developed the overall strategy that will guide the future of the business over the coming years I feel it is the appropriate time to step down and seek fresh challenges elsewhere.”

In its first quarter to June 29th 2012, the specialist retailer saw a 5.6 per cent fall in group like-for-like (LFL) sales while retail LFL fell by 7.5 per cent.

Noting a weak start to the quarter, the retailer said that revenue LFL plummeted 12.4 per cent for the first eight weeks of the quarter prior to a slight improvement over the following five weeks, when LFL rose 0.9 per cent.

Despite this poor performance, which has been blamed on the wet weather which has badly affected both sales and footfall across the UK high street, Halfords Autocentres reported a 14.5 per cent boost to total revenue and a 9.2 per cent LFL rise.

Millard explained that the group plans to implement strategic priorities in an effort to improve profitability across its operations.

He commented: “In this challenging economic environment the management team will be focused on maximising our trading performance and cash generation, prudent cost management and delivering the longer term strategy outlined to shareholders in May 2012.”

Published on Friday 20 July by Editorial Assistant

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