Halfords’ preliminary results for the year to 1 April 2011 have revealed a slow and steady bunch of gains for the retail giant, though this time without the usual "cycling driving the business" headlines to report.
With a strong focus on developing its Autocentre business at present, the chain has expanded and rebranded many of these centres, reporting a resulting sales uplift.
Group revenue rose by 4.6 per cent and shareholders were given a boost too, with underlying earnings per share increasing by 8.8 per cent, from 39.7 pence per share to 43.2.
Halfords has now entirely pulled out of central Europe, choosing to focus on the UK and Ireland.
Halfords’ online business saw a ‘significant’ gain too, reported to make up nine per cent of all retail sales.
David Wild, chief executive, commented on the results: "This has been a challenging year for customers. Nonetheless we have increased profits through a clear focus on costs and margins. The Group has also made significant operational progress through the successful completion of change initiatives, including reconfiguration of the Group’s warehouses and distribution network, remodelling staffing structures and the rebranding and relaunch of our Autocentres business. Although these initiatives were achieved at some impact on sales during the transition period, they have enhanced customer service, reduced costs and provide a strong platform for our next phase of growth."