Shares in car and bike maintenance retailer Halfords fell more than 7.7 per cent to 470.6p in early trading, after this summer's soggy weather hit its bicycle sales.
Like-for-like sales at the company dropped 1.3 per cent in the eight weeks to the end of August – although for cycling specifically the fall was 11 per cent.
The company blamed the poor results on bad weather, which “deterred casual cyclists” from making purchases.
Still – lest we forget, in June sales passed £1bn for the first time. Swings and roundabouts…
Why it's interesting
Since former McDonald's boss Jill McDonald (yep) replaced Tesco-bound Matt Davies as chief executive two months ago, investor optimism has increased, with share price peaking 561p at the start of August.
The upward trend followed those very encouraging results in June, which showed strong sales in both its car and cycle businesses. The retailer posted an 11.4 per cent rise in full-year profit, which rose to £84.1m on an 6.8 per cent rise in revenue to £1.004bn.
While today's figures will come as a disappointment to investors, the company is firm in its positive outlook for the rest of the year.
“Trading in all other areas of Halfords Retail remains strong and in line with, or above, expectations, particularly car maintenance where Parts was a standout performer,” the company said in the second quarter trading update.
What Halfords said
This recent weakness in our Cycling sales is disappointing, but it comes after two years of very strong growth in the category and has been partly offset by strong growth in both Car Maintenance and Car Enhancement sales, which is a testament to the balanced nature of the business.
Halfords was hoping for a better result in the warm months, but you can't predict the weather. Overall, its outlook remains the same.