Redditch-based automotive and bicycle retailer Halfords delivered a solid sales performance over the Christmas period, with positive like for like sales in both its retail and autocentres, reaffirming its full year profit guidance of £50-55 million.
Group revenue was up 4.6 per cent and +1.3 per cent like for like in the period (13 weeks to January 3rd) on the back of a strong cycling performance and continued growth in its autocentres and B2B.
Graham Stapleton, Halfords’ Chief Executive Officer, said:”I am pleased with our overall performance in Q3, with total revenue growing nearly five per cent in the quarter. Our results reflect the positive actions we have taken across the Group to deliver on our strategy, particularly motoring services, which grew strongly.
“Within retail, cycling performed particularly well, as customers responded to our innovative product ranges and differentiated proposition. Approximately 85 per cent of our bike range is unique to Halfords, including our successful partnership with Disney and the development of an innovative range with Trunki, both of which helped to sell a record number of kids bikes in the period. In addition, our ability to provide customers with a unique, free, build and storage offer was met with strong demand, as we built 86,000 bikes in the week before Christmas.
“As National Garage Chain of the Year in 2019, Autocentres has continued to demonstrate good sales growth, organically and through acquisition, and remains well on track to deliver a 3rd year of profit growth.”
But he warned that though pleased with the company’s performance, market conditions remained subdued and it is not anticipating a near-term improvement.
“We will continue to focus on improving our customer proposition, building our services business and managing our costs and operations tightly. In the context of the current retail market I am pleased to be reporting a positive L4L performance and to reconfirm profit guidance for the full year.”
The Group’s online sales grew 27 per cent with around 80 per cent of Halfords.com orders collected in store. The company is planning to launch a new web platform later this year, which it says will significantly improve the digital experience and, for the first time, allow customers to access an integrated services offer across stores, garages and mobile through one website.