Halfords Group plc, the UK’s leading retailer of motoring and cycling products, which has its headquarters in Redditch, has announced like-for-like revenues down 2.4 per cent at £82.7 million in its interim results for the 26 weeks to 27 September 2019, but said sales returned to growth in the last six weeks of the period.
It has also announced that it has acquired McConechy’s Tyre Service Limited, one of the largest independent garage chains in the UK which has 60 sites and 100 vans across Scotland and the North of England, providing tyre fitting and vehicle servicing, maintenance and repair for both retail and commercial vehicles.
Graham Stapleton, Halfords Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted to welcome McConechy’s to the Halfords family. I am extremely proud of how our Autocentres team has developed in the last few years, continually demonstrating their ability to evolve by implementing new processes, systems, and capability. This has transformed the financial performance of Autocentres and, by welcoming McConechy’s and its highly skilled team to the Halfords Group, I am confident of continued success in the years ahead.”
Halford’s half year results showed that cycling sales grew and in motoring its core categories gained market share, however, sales of big-ticket discretionary products were softer, it said.
At its autocentres, Group services, online and B2B all delivered strong sales growth in the period.
Graham said: “In a period where retail sales were impacted by weakened consumer confidence, we are pleased to have successfully increased gross margin, kept a tight control over costs, and seen growth from our strategic investment.
“Twelve months on from the launch of our strategy to inspire and support a lifetime of motoring and cycling, we have made encouraging early progress. Our Autocentres business delivered strong growth in the half, while new initiatives helped to drive top line momentum in Group Services, Online and B2B.
“We are clear that our service-led strategy is the right one for Halfords. Our unique position, growing services business and positive macro-customer trends, gives us confidence that this is the right time to accelerate investment, leveraging our trusted household brand to become a clear market leader in motoring services.
“Over the medium-term, we expect service-related sales to double as a percentage of Group sales and Autocentres to represent a materially larger proportion of Halfords’ profits. As a result, motoring will inevitably grow in focus for the Group. We are confident that this strategy will drive long-term sustainable growth.”
The company plans to launch its web platform in the final quarter, which will allow customers to access an integrated services offer across mobile, its stores and garages through one website.