ANALYST VIEWS: IS HALFORDS ON THE RIGHT PATH?

NICK BUBB | ARDEN PARTNERS
It is disappointing to see profits under-shooting at the Autocentre business, but we are holding our full-year group profit before tax forecast at £99m, after a solid quarter two in the core business. Having expected to have to downgrade again, we are relieved by today's news and so, despite the rather bleak outlook for consumer spending, we are upgrading from Neutral to Add.

KEITH BOWMAN | HARGREAVES LANSDOWN
In all, a drive to offer consumers more value-orientated car maintenance provides potential, its spare parts business is still considered defensive, whilst exposure to low cost transport (bicycles) and holiday (camping) options is seen as catering for embattled consumers. Bolstered by the group’s ongoing share buy-back scheme, market consensus opinion currently denotes a hold.

MATTHEW MCEACHRAN | SINGER CAPITAL MARKETS
They are part way through a £75m buyback programme. We continue to believe that Halfords remains a fundamentally sound business with domestic growth opportunities, however the key catalyst in our mind will be in relation to strengthening the operational management team and improving the customer experience.