Halfords profit drops despite high bike sales

Kasmira Jefford
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STRONG bike sales following the summer of sport failed to make up for the wet weather at the beginning of the year, as Halfords yesterday reported that profits dropped by 23 per cent in its half year results.

The bicycle to car-parts retailer said it made pre-tax profits of £42.4m for the six months to 28 September, while sales edged up by 0.4 per cent to £455.6m after a tale of two quarters, one of rain followed by a strong performance boosted by the “Wiggins effect”, referencing Olympic cycling champion Bradley Wiggins.

Halfords chairman Dennis Millard, said the group “was not standing still” and has heavily invested in IT, online, training and customer service, hiring 450 new staff in the first half.

It wants to expand its share of the £1bn-a-year car maintenance and fitting market and is also looking to up its share in the £700m market for cycling parts, accessories, and clothing, with plans to broaden its range from 750 current lines to 6,000.