// Halfords says pre-tax profits for the year ending in April will hit between £90m-£100m
// This compares to £52.6m last year
// It also beats previous analysts’ forecasts of around £70.2,
Bosses at Halfords believe they will manage to double profits after bike sales soared among stuck-at-home Brits.
The retailer said it expected pre-tax profits for the year ending in April would hit between £90 million and £100 million, up from £52.6 million a year earlier.
Before the announcement, analysts had expected a figure of around £70.2 million, according to a company-provided consensus.
- Halfords posts “best ever Christmas week” as Brits swap cars for bikes
- Cycling sales boost Halfords’ profits as people avoid public transport
The figures are the first Halfords has provided for the current financial crisis after it stopped guiding due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Less than two months ago it had said it would “not be appropriate” to give profits guidance at the moment.
Many retailerts have withdrawn their guidance due to the pandemic, and Halfords acknowledged that its range was wide.
“Although only six weeks remain of the 2021 financial year, the expected profit range remains quite broad as trading patterns continue to be volatile, with sales ahead of Easter particularly difficult to predict whilst the UK remains in lockdown,” Halfords said in a statement.
“As the country starts to open up once more, our overriding priority remains the health and safety of our colleagues and customers.”
Halfords has continued to see volatility in the last seven weeks since its third quarter ended, but trading has been better than anticipated.
Bike sales remain high, with sales at its cycling business up 43 per cent during the period compared with last year, on a like-for-like basis.
Halfords said a 14 per cent decline in motoring sales was better than traffic levels would suggest as there has been a 40 per cent drop in car journeys.
However, sales of bulbs, batteries and general maintenance products have remained good, the business said.
“Although we have continued to experience a volatile trading environment across the first seven weeks of the fourth quarter, overall trading has been stronger than we initially anticipated across the business,” Halfords said.
Full-year results will be announced on June 17.
with PA Wires