Halfords' boss invests £100m but warns profits will dive
The chief executive of Halfords has launched a stinging attack on the state of its retail business and admitted profits will fall over the next two years as it invests £100m to turn around its performance.
Matt Davies, the former boss of Pets at Home who joined Halfords in October, gave his frank assessment as the car repairs-to-bikes group posted annual profits down by more than a fifth and slashed its final dividend by 35 per cent.
His three-year strategic review spooked investors and Halfords' shares dived nearly 16 per cent to 333.3p yesterday.
Mr Davies said that about half of the £100m would be spent on refurbishing its stores, which customers have criticised for being "tired" looking, often short of stock and offering "variable" levels of service.
Pre-tax profits tumbled by 22 per cent to £72m over the year to March 29, on sales up by 1 per cent to £871.3m. Mr Davies said its target of growing revenues to £1bn by 2016 was "ambitious", as retail like-for-like sales have fallen in 10 of the past 13 quarters.
He said: "This is a business that has been going backwards consistently."
It is putting all its 10,500 store staff on a training programme over the next three years, in an effort to improve staff turnover rates in excess of 50 per cent a year.
- 1 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
- 3 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
- 4 Nicki Minaj finally releases predictable 'Anaconda' video
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women
iJobs Money & Business
£45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, ...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Per...
£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...
£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pilla...