Halfords has announced its interim results for the 26 weeks to September 28th.
Revenue is up 8.5 percent to £400.7m. Operating profit also rose by 8.5 percent, to £52.6m. Like-for-like sales were up 5.5 percent. Profit before tax was £47.6m, a jump of 16.4 percent.
Gross profit remained static at 50.9 percent.
"Bikehut and Czech Republic stores trading in line with management expectations and further store openings remain on track," said a financial statement from the company.
CEO Ian McLeod said:
"Halfords continues to grow sales in all of its key categories, maintaining the long-term momentum in the business. Our market-leading positions in leisure, in-car technology and car maintenance, together with our high levels of service and store opening programme continue to differentiate Halfords within the retail sector. Trading in the seven weeks since the half-year end is in line with our expectations and, whilst acknowledging a challenging retail environment, we remain confident in our second half performance."
During the first half of 2007, Halfords opened ten new stores, resulting in 433 stores trading at the half-year end. Of these new stores nine were superstores, seven were in supermezzanine format and one was in a smaller, 'neighbourhood' format, taking the total of these stores to sixteen.
McLeod said: "The cycle market is enjoying a period of encouraging growth, through a combination of leisure, environmental, fitness and commuting needs. During the first six months, we introduced over 100 new models under the Apollo or Carrera branding. Apollo is now the UK's leading cycle brand and the product re-launch was timed to coincide with the Easter trading period when we were able to benefit from the warmer weather compared to April last year.
"Our exclusive premium range of Boardman cycles and cycle accessories, developed in partnership with Chris Boardman OBE, is exceeding our expectations. Initial sales are very encouraging and the range has benefited from positive reviews by the specialist press."