Ward White legacy hits Halfords

The car parts and bicycle retailer Halfords shocked the City yesterday by revealing a £7.5m hit from the collapse of Focus DIY, which went into administration last month.

The charge dates back to guarantees given in the 1980s to landlords of properties leased by Payless DIY, which became part of Focus, when both Halfords and Payless were owned by Ward White, the conglomerate later bought by Boots in an ill-fated attempt to diversify.

Halfords said the charge would be paid over the next three to five years.