Halfords has announced its preliminary results for the financial year 2022, with group revenue against FY21 up 6% and 2% LFL.
The retailer’s motoring business in retail and autocentres has shown strong growth, but cycling sales ‘stepped back’ in the context of strong comparators and supply disruption. Retail cycling revenue was down by 27.2% vs FY21.
The company primarily made comparisons relative to FY20, saying the disruption to FY21 from Covid-19 means that one-year comparators are ‘more difficult to interpret’. It reported revenue growth of 19.9% vs. FY20, with cycling growth of 2.7%.
Graham Stapleton, chief executive officer, said: “The strength and resilience of this performance is a great illustration of Halfords’ transformation over the past two years. Our strategic shift towards motoring services has delivered higher, more predictable and more sustainable returns, and our acquisitions of both National and Iverson Tyres during the year mean that we are now the UK’s largest motoring service provider.
“Motoring now represents over 70% of Halfords’ total revenue, and the fact that our products and services in this category tend to be needs-based rather than discretionary will help us to navigate our way through the well-documented macroeconomic uncertainty that we are currently seeing. We are determined to do everything that we can to help our customers during the current cost of living crisis through initiatives such as our recently launched Motoring Loyalty Club and our second-hand bike exchange.”
Halfords last year bought the Axle Group, owner of the National garage chain, adding 239 tyre and 60 general services garages, and 60 mobile tyre-fitting vans to its network.
Stapleton said Halfords is continuing to play a key role in helping consumers to choose electric forms of transport and is constantly investing in the training and upskilling of its technicians in this critically important area. Sales of e-bikes, e-scooters and accessories were up 74% on two years ago, and servicing for electric cars in our garages was up 140% year-on-year.
“We have also rolled out free electric bike trials to encourage customers to make the switch and are the first mainstream retailer to offer an end-to-end EV charging solution for the home,” said Stapleton.
“While rising inflation and declining consumer confidence will naturally present short-term challenges for any customer-facing business like ours, we remain confident in Halfords’ long-term growth prospects due to our service-led strategy and the enduring strength of our brand, people, products and services.”