Motoring and cycling retailer Halfords has reported its Business-to-Business (B2B) sales now account for nearly a third of the groups revenue, but consumer demand for “big-ticket” products has weakened.
In the six-month period to 29 September 2023, its first-half revenue grew by 13.9% to £873.5mn despite “the challenging and volatile trading environment”.
Its autocentre part of the business remained strong, with a like-for-like sales uplift of 18%, however bike sales came in below expectations. The cycling division recorded a 2.8% comparable revenue decline.
“In the face of continuing economic uncertainty, we remain fully focused on optimising every element of the business, and I’m particularly pleased with the very strong performance of autocentres, where we are delivering significantly improved returns. In light of this, we are accelerating capital investment in the garage services operating model and customer experience in 10 towns in the balance of this financial year,” said Graham Stapleton, Halfords chief executive.
The retailer, which operates close to 400 stores and 645 garages, stressed it will focus on reducing costs in order to offset the slower recovery of sales in some areas. It has also amended its full year underlying pre-tax profit, estimating that it could fall within a narrower range of £48mn to £53mn.
“We continue to believe that our strategic investments provide a strong platform for growth, validated by our market share gains in this period. Looking beyond FY24, assuming markets recover in line with projections, we remain confident in our mid-term target of £90mn to £110mn for underlying pre-tax profit,” added Stapleton.
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