Halfords posts Christmas sales uptick

Halfords Christmas

Halfords has reported an uptick in third quarter sales boosted by record sales over Black Friday and Christmas, in a trading update that coincided with Graham Stapleton starting as its new chief executive.

The car parts and cycling retailer grew its total like-for-like sales by 2.7 per cent in the 15 week period to January 12, while group revenue rose by 3.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, retail like-for-like sales grew 2.9 per cent, sales at Halford’s autocentres edged up 0.7 per cent, and service-related sales surged 8.6 per cent – driven by the fitting of bulbs, blades, batteries and dash cams, new motoring services and cycle repair.

Halford’s cycling retail arm also had a like-for-like sales increase of 7.8 per cent in the quarter, with bike volumes marginally up year-on-year despite price rises.

The retailer’s online arm enjoyed a 13 per cent total sales climb in the quarter, with over 80 per cent of orders collected in-store.

Halfords added that 40 shops have now been refurbished in the latest format and its Cycle Republic fascia now has 19 shops after new store openings in Derby and Canary Wharf.

“We are pleased with the overall performance of the group in the 15-week period given the difficult UK retail environment,” chief financial officer Jonny Mason said.

“We achieved record sales for Black Friday and Christmas thanks to great planning and execution and compelling product and service offers.

“Particular highlights included the growth in fitting services for car parts, cycle repair and increased sales of bikes, electric bikes and dash cams.”

Halford’s trading update comes as Stapleton moved into the chief executive’s office on January 15.

“I am really looking forward to working with my new colleagues to continue to implement the service-led strategy and over time identify further growth potential,” he said.

Looking ahead, the retailer said it expected the UK retail environment to remain subdued for the remainder of 2018, but predicts full year group pre-tax profit will be broadly in line with current market expectations.

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