Dire motoring performance puts brakes on Halfords' sales

Halfords suffered a fall in underlying sales in its last quarter, as a dire performance from its motor business failed to offset storming bike revenues. The group said it was continuing to trade "effectively in a difficult environment for UK consumers," but warned its margins would fall by 100 basis points for itsfull year.

Like-for-like retail sales at Halfords fell by 1.1 per cent over the 13 weeks to 1 July, although total sales inched up by 0.3 per cent. While "car enhancement" sales fell by 10.6 per cent, as customers cut back on expenditure and reduced mileage, its premium bikes, Boardman, Voodoo and Carrera, raced ahead. These helped its cycling sales surge by 11.5 per cent and its leisure division to grow by 6.3 per cent.

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