// Halfords raises half-year profit expectations
// The retailer warns of economic uncertainty affecting its second half performance
Halfords has raised its half-year profit expectations but warned that economic uncertainty could affect its second half performance.
Thanks to the staycation season, Halfords said that sales have remained strong since its last trading update earlier this month.
The retailer recorded a 22 per cent rise in group like-for-like sales growth in the five weeks to September 25, driven by a 46 per cent rise in cycling like-for-like sales.
Halfords motoring business has seen its sales rise 7.5 per cent in like-for-like terms driven by a 18 per cent jump in like-for-likes across its autocentres.
The retailer said this performance has been driven by “exceptional demand” for the retailers growing Mobile Expert proposition as customer seek “greater convenience and safety from our fleet of vans”.
Meanwhile, Halfords has launched a recruit drive for technicians as a result of the “substantial growth” it recorded in its motoring business.
Halfords now expects its half-year profits to be in excess of £55 million, up from the range of £35 million and £40 million forecasted earlier this month.
The retailer “remains cautious” about its second half outlook.
“The potential impact of second waves of COVID-19 now seems more pronounced than just a few weeks ago, and the economic impact of an end to the furlough scheme and the outcome of Brexit negotiations remains very uncertain,” Halfords said.
“We are well placed to address any headwinds we may face and capitalise on the tailwinds as they arise. Our balance sheet and liquidity position remain strong.”