Halfords, the UK's largest retailer of bicycles, has seen profits and revenue increase in its Preliminary Results for the 52 weeks up to April 2nd 2010.
In the financial year that saw the retailer acquire the car servicing and repair chain Nationwide Autocentres, revenue rose 4.6 per cent to £831.6m from £794.7m.
Like-for-like sales saw an underlying, Easter adjusted, increase of a modest 0.7 per cent. Profit before tax was up 26.7 per cent to £117.1m from £92.4m.
Halfords said it had continued to see strong sales and market share growth in cycling and car maintenance.
Multi-channel revenue increased by 34 per cent, accounting for six per cent of total revenue, while Wefit and Werepair jobs also saw significant growth, according to the retailer.
“Halfords has had an excellent year," enthused chief exec David Wild. "As a result of our disciplined growth strategy and a clear focus on the needs of our customers, our business continues to develop strongly. Sales growth in core areas, margin expansion and disciplined cost control has led to the delivery of 25 per cent earnings growth.
“In addition we made our first acquisition, Nationwide Autocentres, which represents a natural extension of Halfords service proposition in the car aftermarket and is already making a good contribution to the Group.
“Looking ahead we will continue to expand our core retail business, double earnings from the Autocentre operations over the next three years and harness our strong cash flow to seek further acquisitions that meet our investment criteria. The aim of this strategy is to deliver sustainable earnings growth over the medium term of, on average, 15 per cent per annum.
“While we remain cautious about the current state of the wider UK economy and immediate outlook for consumer spending, we have a proven strategy, a resilient business, and significant opportunities. The Board is therefore confident that the Group will deliver further earnings growth in the year ahead.
“The Group’s success reflects the continued hard work and contribution made by all colleagues. I would like to thank them for their continued efforts.”
Earlier this year Halfords revealed it would be pulling out of Central Europe, closing seven stores in the Czech Republic and Poland.