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Halfords reports decline in cycling sales

Halfords has updated the market on its trading performance for the 20-week period to 16th August 2019.

Like-for-like revenue at a group level declined -3.2% in the period, with retail -3.9%. Retail cycling sales declined in line with expectations, given the “exceptionally warm and dry” summer last year (-1.1% like-for-like), with strong growth in electric bikes and kids cycling offset by weaker big-ticket discretionary mainstream cycling, the retailer said.

Group online sales grew strongly at 8.4% year-on-year, with 85% of Halfords.com orders continuing to be collected in store. B2B sales delivered strong double-digit year-on-year growth.

Graham Stapleton, chief executive, said: “Despite sales growth in group services, online and B2B, we have seen our overall sales impacted by cooler, wetter weather and weaker consumer confidence year-on-year. The market has been challenging but we are pleased to have seen increased market share in our core categories.

“In the second half, we believe the economic and political uncertainty will continue to impact big-ticket discretionary spend and, therefore, as in the first half, we will continue to focus on improving gross margins and controlling costs.

“We set out a new strategy for the business last year and while it is still early, we have already seen encouraging signs of progress. We remain confident that it is the right strategy to drive the sustainable growth of the business.”

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