CVC increases sales at 'under pressure' Halfords; could sell soon

Whilst the owner of Halfords since July 2002 has not been popular with suppliers (they were forced to cut prices and extend payment terms) or employees (many feel the TV chimps ads did store staff few favours), sales have increased big-time, says a report in the Financial Times. Good corporate management, or a reflection that anybody retailing bikes in the UK at the moment is in clover?
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"The business is trading incredibly well, costs are down, like-for-like sales are up," Rob Templeman, Halfords' executive chairman told the Financial Times.

Templeman was formerly chief executive of Homebase, a DIY retailer which was bought and sold on quickly. Templeman is a get-in-quick-get-out-quick-with-profits sort of exec, and was probably appointed by CVC for this reason.

In the FT interview, Templeman does not hide the fact CVC would be happy with a quick exit:

"As we build value the exit opportunities become clearer - [Halfords] is an incredibly cash generative business," he said.

Yes, and especially in a market trading healthily, unlike previous years. The question industry insiders are asking is whether any long-term harm has been done to the Halfords 'brand' by the constant price-slashing offers, and the arm-twisting suppliers had to go through earlier in the year.

Here are the FT articles:

http://search.ft.com/.../article.html?id=030909000684&query=halfords&vsc_appId=totalSearch&state=Form

http://search.ft.com/.../article.html?id=030909000712&query=halfords&vsc_appId=totalSearch&state=Form

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