Halfords boosted by Olympics bikes success
Shares in Halfords put on an Olympic growth spurt yesterday after Team GB's success drove a spike in sales of bicycles, and investors toasted its choice of a new chief executive.
Sales of Halfords' bikes developed by gold medalists Victoria Pendleton and Chris Boardman, hero of the 1992 Games, were particularly strong, and were also helped by life-sized models of the female Olympian in its stores.
The bikes-to-car-maintenance group has unveiled Matt Davies as its new chief executive following the exit of David Wild in the summer. Mr Davies left Pets at Home in April after eight years during which the pets accessories retailer was sold to the private-equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in a deal worth nearly £1bn in January 2010.
The hiring and the fact Halfords posted a 5.6 per cent rise in group underlying sales in its second quarter to 28 September, the first increase for 18 months, sent the shares soaring by 37.5p, to 303.5p.
Cycling was the standout performer, with sales up 14.7 per cent in the second quarter. This followed a 9.6 per cent fall in the previous three months when bike sales were hammered by the dire early summer weather.
Along with its own-bike brands endorsed by Ms Pendleton and Mr Boardman, Halfords' cycling business also benefited from the "Wiggo effect" from Wiggins winning the Tour de France and Olympic events.
Halfords' chairman, Dennis Millard, said: "We were definitely supporting the Olympics. We had life-size models of Victoria Pendleton in all our stores and we traded the Boardman brand very hard."
The group was further buoyed by its Autocentres car maintenance business, with sales up 12.4 per cent in its second quarter.
Halfords expects its full-year profits will be at the upper end of City forecasts of £62m to £70m, although this will still be below last year's £92.2m.
Threat of 'catastrophic cascade of collisions' involving 300,000 pieces of rubbish must be averted, warn scientists
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Oxford is the least affordable city in the UK, where houses cost 11 times local salaries
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 North Korea elections: Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote
- 4 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 5 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time
iJobs Money & Business
£32000 - £36000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: * TAX * ...
£55000 - £70000 per annum + benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: In-House Corporat...
£80000 - £100000 per annum + benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: In-House Opportu...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Mixed Ta...