Nov 18, 2020

Halfords boosted by switch to cycling during pandemic

Group sales in the 26 weeks to October 2 rose 9.6 per cent to £638m, with pre-tax profit doubling to £55m from £27.5m in the same period a year ago. Cycling-related sales at Halfords' 440 stores were up 54 per cent in the period as, helped by a government incentive scheme, British consumers turned to bikes as a way of avoiding public transport during the pandemic. The company said trading for the first five weeks of the second half continued to be "Relatively strong" and it expected "Good growth" in cycling sales. During the first lockdown, car traffic fell to as low as a fifth of normal levels and the government allowed a grace period on the roadworthiness test that UK vehicles older than three years must take each year. As a result, retail motoring sales fell 23 per cent although revenue in the service-led Autocentre business grew 38 per cent.

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