Group revenues and sales all grew for Halfords, according to its interim results for the half year to September 2014.
The period saw Halfords acquire Boardman Bikes for £14m, launch new brand 13 Bikes and reveal its intention to roll out Cycle Republic shops, starting in London from December 2014. Halfords has also begun to refresh its existing store portfolio, with added cycle facilities.
Cycling sales grew 16 per cent, with growth in all cycling categories. Online sales – an area of focus for the retailer – jumped 13.7 per cent. Group revenues grew 6.8 per cent to £524.1m.
In-store service income increased by 9.4 per cent to £11.4m, with the majority of revenues emanating from 3Bs fitting and Cycle Repair services.
Operating costs grew 5.1 per cent, due in part to the Boardman Bikes acquisition and a strategic move to five-day-a-week delivery to store.
"This was a strong performance against particularly tough comparatives and we are pleased overall with the progress we are making under our Getting Into Gear Retail plan," commented chief exec Matt Davies.
"A strengthened Cycling offer was underpinned by the acquisition of Boardman Bikes whilst Halfords continued to build its Auto credentials with the launch of Car Parts Direct. More Retail colleagues completed their Gear-2 training, the supply-chain and IT infrastructure improved further and refreshed stores performed in line with expectations…I look forward to a second half where we will continue to position Halfords to deliver sustainable profit growth."
The firm had some additional comment on the cycle side of its business: "Cycling LFL revenues were up 16.0 per cent in the period, driven not only by continued market growth and favourable weather, but also by our own actions. Along with Cycle Repair and Parts, Accessory and Clothing ("PACs") sales delivering double-digit growth, we were delighted to add Kona and Mongoose to the cycle portfolio and we were especially pleased to be confirmed as the largest European retailer of Pinarello bikes.
"These events were augmented by the acquisition of Boardman Bikes, a brand that continues to resonate with cyclists. Not only did this transaction make good financial sense, with significantly-reduced royalty payments, it also gives us a real opportunity to develop the brand even further with Chris Boardman and his team."