British retailer Halfords today said sales were boosted by strong demand in cycling, camping and travel equipment during the three months to early July.
With fine weather and the British Government’s Cycle2Work scheme helping business, Halfords reported like-for-like sales growth of 1.3% in the 13 weeks to July 3. Adjusting for the impact of Easter, the figure was 0.1% higher.
Car maintenance also traded positively, assisted by new products and the success of the company’s in-store fitting service, with the number of jobs performed by staff rising 50% on the same quarter a year ago.
Chief executive David Wild said the company’s new financial year had got off to a solid start, with sales ahead of the company’s internal plan.
“The trading of our core categories of car maintenance and cycling, where we continue to grow market share, together with a good start to the season in camping, is pleasing.”
Halfords is braced for trading conditions to remain uncertain for the rest of the year and said the limited availability of quality sites would reduce new store openings to between 10 and 15 stores in the UK and Ireland in the year to April 2010.
It operates 466 stores worldwide, including the Republic of Ireland, Czech Republic and in Poland. The company’s own brands include Ripspeed for car enhancement and Bikehut for cycles and cycling accessories.
Halfords said the fine weather in May and June meant today’s figures included some trade that might normally have been achieved in the current quarter.