Halfords eyes new deals as profit surges

HALFORDS is plotting more acquisitions with a hit list of up to a dozen targets.

The bicycle and car parts company said it was hungry for expansion as it posted a 27 per cent jump in its annual profit yesterday.

Halfords, which in February bought car servicing firm Nationwide Autocentres for £73m, made a pre-tax profit of £117m for the year to 2 April – up from £92.4m in 2008-09.

Revenue increased by 4.6 per cent to £832m, with sales at stores open over a year up 0.7 per cent. Sales of children’s bikes helped to fuel the rise.

Chief executive David Wild said: “We normally keep a list of about ten or a dozen targets.

“Since we drew the list up 15-16 months ago some of them have been sold, others the owners don’t want to sell. So we just keep a very open mind and review our opportunities against the strategy.”

Wild said the firm was well placed to increase earnings.