Wednesday 18 November 2020 8:02 am

Halfords doubles profit after lockdown cycling boom

Retailer Halfords more than doubled its profit in the first half of the year after capitalising on the lockdown cycling boom. 

The FTSE 250 firm, which sells motoring and cycling products, reported pre-tax profit of £56m in the six months to 2 October, up from £25.9m in the same period last year. 

Read more: Halfords shares surge a fifth as wheels keep turning

There has been a boom in cycling after a concerted push from authorities urging people to avoid public transport amid the height of the pandemic.

The Department of Transport found cycling levels increased by 300 per cent during the first lockdown. 

Halfords’ cycling products like-for-like sales jumped 54.4 per cent in the first half of the year, with the most ntoable growth in e-mobility, up 184 per cent, and Cycle Services, up 24 per cent.

This contrasts with motoring revenue which fell 23.7 reflecting fewer car journeys amid lockdown. Like-for-like sales grew 3.1 per cent in the second quarter as restrictions eased and journeys increased.  

The retailer said trading for the first five weeks of the second half continued to be “relatively strong” with an increased market share in cycling. 

The onset of the second national lockdown has seen another surge in cycling while sales of motoring products have been hit again. “Unlike the previous lockdown, we have been able to plan and mitigate against some of this risk early,” Halfords said in a statement. 

Read more: Halfords warns of profit fall despite cycling boom

It is taking a cautious view on outlook due to the impact of national and local lockdowns and the standard dip in sales during the winter months. 

Chief executive Graham Stapleton said: “We have worked hard to capitalise on the cycling market tailwinds by sourcing more stock from existing and new suppliers, as well as launching new products and brands to serve the high level of demand for our cycling products and services.”