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Halfords bike sales plateau in first quarter


Halfords has blamed the wet weather and the timing of Easter for the plateau of its bike sales recovery as it posted its first quarterly results today.

The retailer reported a four per cent drop in like-for-like bike sales in the 13 weeks to July 1.

While its car maintenance and travel solutions ranges fared better, it did not manage to offset the bike disappointment as overall first-quarter retail sales was down 1.2 per cent.

However, Halfords said that if the timing of Easter were taken out of the equation, retail sales would be only down by 0.2 per cent.

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Halfords has been working to turn around its bike sales after last summer left full-year cycle sales 0.9 per cent lower.

The retailer said it had high hopes in the upcoming peak summer cycling season prior to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, especially with new ranges from British hopeful Laura Trott and cycling star Sir Bradley Wiggins.

"We had good sales growth of premium bikes, but cycling sales across the quarter were impacted by both the timing of Easter and poor weather, particularly in April,"chief executive Jill McDonald said.

"We look forward to the peak summer cycling season."

She added that the weeks leading up to and after the Brexit referendum had created "uncertainty", and that if the pound continues to fall against the US dollar it could hit Halfords' profits further.

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Published on Thursday 14 July by Elias Jahshan

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