Halfords sees “significant” sales growth

RETAILER and auto repairs group Halfords has seen revenue increase by £7.9% on a year on year basis.

The Redditch firm, best known for retailing automotive, cycling and leisure products, saw revenue in financial year 2014 increase to £939.7m from £871.3m in FY 2013.

Its preliminary results for the 52 weeks to 28 March 2014 revealed that revenues in the group’s retail arm increased by 7.7% to £803.1m while the Autocentres business saw revenue increase by 8.6% to £136.6m.

Profit before tax and non-recurring items was up by 1.1% at £72.8m.

And the firm’s net debt was down by 9.9% from £110.6m to £99.6m.

Arguably the star of the show was the cycling element of the retail business which saw growth of 19.4%.

Online retail was also a strong performer, showing growth of 17.7%.

Halfords saw capital expenditure up 61.7% to £30.4m, supporting the first year of the retail Getting Into Gear strategy.

Matt Davies, Halfords’ chief executive, said: “This was a year of significant retail sales growth and the start of a strategic investment programme designed to deliver sustainable profit growth over the medium term.

“Our actions resulted in a particularly strong performance in every element of our cycling category, illustrating our leading and growing role in the market.

“Car maintenance sales were also encouraging, especially against the backdrop of a mild winter.

“Within Autocentres new leadership is now in place as we look to grow profitability in that business.
“In the first year of our Getting Into Gear strategy our targets presented a year ago have been achieved. We are getting better prepared to delight our customers both in-store and online and we’re making good progress with our refreshed stores, our infrastructure and the product range.”