// Halfords full year underlying profits surge 72% Y-o-Y to £96.3m on the back of soaring sales of electric bikes & scooters
// Retail sales jumped 14.6% on a like-for-like basis – helped by a 54% surge for bikes
// Statutory profits rose to more than £75m in 2021-22, up from £64.5m
Soaring sales of electric bicycles and scooters amid the Covid-19 pandemic has helped Halfords notch up a 72 per cent jump in full year profits.
The cycling and motoring specialist reported underlying pre-tax profits of £96.3 million for the year to April 2, up from £55.9 million on a pro forma 52-week basis.
Retail sales jumped 14.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis – helped by a 54 per cent surge for bikes – while its Autocentres car servicing and repair chain enjoyed a 9.7 per cent hike.
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Halfords saw surging demand for electric scooters and bikes, with sales in this category almost doubling – up 94 per cent.
The retailer is investing heavily in the area of electric vehicles and will have trained more than 2000 of its store and garage staff to service electric cars, bikes and scooters by the end of its new financial year.
Halfords said it was “positive” over the outlook as it expects restrictions on foreign travel to boost staycation goods sales, such as touring and cycling products, while it sees motoring product demand benefiting from more normal traffic patterns.
The retailer added that statutory profits rose to more than £75 million in 2021-22, up from £64.5 million in the year to April 2.
However, Halfords warned of “acute” ongoing supply issues with bikes, which have been affected by demand, Brexit trade concerns and the blockage of the Suez Canal earlier this year.
“The general economic outlook remains challenging, with consumers likely to be more cautious and expecting greater value from their purchases,” it said.
“We will address this by making a significant investment in pricing in our retail motoring business.”
Sales in the first nine weeks of the new financial year have remained solid – up 6.6 per cent for retail motoring, 42 per cent for cycling and 6.6 per cent across its Autocentres against pre-pandemic levels two years ago.
Chief executive Graham Stapleton said: “Demand for our services remains strong in the new financial year, and our touring categories are currently performing particularly well given the trend towards staycations this summer.
“In the longer term, we remain confident in the future prospects for the UK’s motoring and cycling markets and our ability to compete strongly in both.”
with PA Wires