Financial analysts had expected Halfords to mirror most other High Street retailers and report poor trading results but the company has managed to grow sales by 2.6 percent. However, last year at the same time Halfords reported a 12.7 percent increase in sales. To make up for the relative dip in sales, Halfords is currently slashing prices instore and has written to some bike suppliers demanding extra margins.

Halfords reports better-than-expected results

Halfords Group plc today released a trading update for the six months to the end of September.

Like-for-like sales increased by 2.6 percent. However, CEO Ian McLeod prefers to adjust "for the non-comparative Easter period last year," raising the like-for-like sales to 4.1 percent.

He said: "This is a challenging retail environment, but our resilience in the first six months continues to give us confidence for the second half."

Halfords will announce its interim results on 24th November.

The company is currently winning no friends at the bike businesses which supply it. In a throwback to April 2003, the company has written to some suppliers asking for extra margin.

In 2003 bike trade suppliers were angered by a unilateral imposition of 90-day payment terms by Halfords. The payment contract had previously been for 30-day terms. A major P&A supplier to Halfords told at the time the company was guilty of "unacceptable behaviour for a dominant player."

There are similar grumblings today and also some surprise that Halfords is discounting so many products to help lift sales.

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