Cycle retail has continued to buoy Halfords, according to its preliminary results for the 52 weeks to March 30th 2012.
Within the leisure category, cycling's like-for-like revenues increased 9.7 per cent year-on-year, with premium bikes and accessories performing particularly well, the retailer said.
Total Group revenue dipped slightly (-0.8 per cent) from 869.7 in FY11 to 863.1 in FY12. Halfords Autocentres put in a strong performance - up 12.9 per cent - while UK and ROI stores saw a -2.3 per cent change.
Halfords noted that in-store service revenue rose by 22.6 per cent, with fitting penetration hitting record levels.
The retail revealed that retail sales in FY13 have, so far, been 'very disappointing', but believed the sales had been deferred rather than cancelled.
Investment will be made in key growth areas - including cycling, fitting and Autocentres, creating up to 1,000 new jobs.
“In a challenging consumer environment we have made good progress in our key growth areas of Leisure, including Cycles, Fitting Services and Autocentres, commented chief exec David Wild. "Our success in these categories and our detailed market research demonstrates how customers appreciate the help and value we offer and our opportunity for further growth.
"As a result we are evolving our strategy to focus on three strategic pillars so that we become the Friend of the Motorist, the Best Cycle Shop in Town and the Starting Point for Great Getaways. In each of these areas we believe we have a unique end to end solution and are well positioned to increase our share in significant markets.
"We are investing in these opportunities, specifically in fitting resources, increased marketing and enhancing our multichannel offer. This will accelerate the evolution of Halfords from a traditional retailer to a contemporary solutions provider, will contribute to future growth and create up to 1,000 new jobs.
"Halfords continues to be profitable and strongly cash generative and we are seeking to maximise our performance in this demanding retail environment."
As of March 30th, Halfords had 467 stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
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