Halfords aims to revive Wiggo effect with new bike models

City A.M. Reporter
BICYCLE and car parts retailer Halfords yesterday edged up its profit expectations for the full-year after enjoying healthy sales in car maintenance and top bike ranges in the Christmas quarter.

The firm, which trades from over 460 Halfords stores in the UK and Ireland as well as over 260 Autocentres, said sales at stores open over a year rose one per cent in the 15 weeks to 11 January, its fiscal third quarter.

The group, which is to begin hosting driving tests from its sites in England next month, said its retail revenue performance meant it would upgrade its pre-tax profit guidance range for the year to March 2013 to between £68m to £72m.

The sales rise is however a sharp slowdown on a 5.6 per cent hike in its second quarter, when Britain’s cycling success in the Tour de France and Olympic Games sparked big demand for bikes and helped the firm put a poor start to the year behind it.

Halfords hopes to recreate its Olympics success by stocking high-end Pinarello bikes – the same brand used by Bradley Wiggins.