‘Solid start’ for Halfords financial year, with 3.1 per cent group sales increase

Q1 sales grow for Halfords

Sales rose for national retailer Halfords according to the firms Interim Management Statement for the 13 weeks to Friday July 3rd 2009.

Growth increased 3.1 per cent compared to the 13 weeks period to June 27th 2008. Like-for-like sales growth reached 1.3 per cent and, adjusted for Easter’s impact, sales grew 1.9 per cent – a like-for-like sales growth of 0.1 per cent according to the statement.

Halfords ‘Reserve and Collect’ service increased in popularity with the retailer’s customers, seeing revenues 55 per cent up on last year. Dry weather, the success of the Cycle2Work initiative and premium cycles helped drive the firm’s Leisure category and bikes, causing strong like-for-like sales in the sector.

Chief exec officer David Wild said: “This performance represents a solid start to the year and at this early stage is ahead of our internal plan. The trading of our core categories of Car Maintenance and Cycling, where we continue to grow market share, together with a good start to the season in Camping, is pleasing.

Wild added: “As demonstrated by the continued accretion of gross margin and ongoing cost management we remain in control of the direction of the business. We remain cautious about the impact of the macro economic environment, particularly in the second half of the year and in our overseas territories where sales remain challenging. Nevertheless, we are confident that Halfords will both continue to consolidate share and is well positioned to deliver earnings growth for the year.”

A ‘difficult’ property market led to a reduced number of store openings in the quarter.

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