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.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living