Halfords sees cycle sales hold steady, while e-bikes standout

Halfords saw cycling sales rise a modest 1% (like-for-like) in its half year results (26 weeks up to 28 Sept 2018).

A challenging start to the year, with poor weather in April and an early Easter, was offset by a better performance in the peak summer period of mid July to mid August, the retailer noted, adding that electric bikes were the standout performer (again) and PAC (parts, accessories and clothing) sales continued to grow.

The period saw Halfords open two Cycle Republic stores and a Boardman Performance Centre. The same period also saw the closure of four Halfords retail stores and a Tredz concession store.

Noting a ‘weaker cycle market’, the firm saw overall group revenue rise 2.5% like-for-like to £599.99 million (up from £588.7m). Profits didn’t fare as well, however – profit before tax was down -17.% while EBITDA was down -9.3%.

“Despite the challenging UK consumer environment, we delivered a robust sales and cash flow performance in the first half, with costs and profit broadly in line with our expectations,” said CEO Graham Stapleton. “We are making good early progress as we implement our new strategy, and we are encouraged by the initial signs. We are moving to a more customer centric approach, leveraging our expertise to provide a more differentiated shopping experience and an integrated and more convenient services offer.”

Halfords recently recruited former Waitrose CFO Loraine Woodhouse and signed a significant deal with Brompton.