Halfords has said its profits are set to exceed previous targets as increased car ownership following the pandemic helped to drive a surge in sales.
Shares in the company leapt higher after the cycling and motoring equipment retailer also told investors that supply chain pressures have eased back.
It came as Halfords revealed revenues increased by 19.2% over the six months to October 1, compared with the same period last year.
The retailer upgraded its profit guidance for the current year to between £80 million and £90 million as a result.
Motoring continued to drive higher sales, with the company’s autocentres business reporting an 88.8% surge in revenues.
Graham Stapleton, chief executive officer, told the PA news agency this was boosted by an increase in people buying cars amid caution over using public transport.
“There are three main factors but one is definitely that people sought their own transport as they were reticent about public transport,” he said.
“The second thing is definitely a move towards electric cars. We have seen a big increase in demand related to electric car ownership, so have been having to grow the number of technicians dealing with electric vehicles.
“I think we have also seen sales aided by our own quality in customer service which has really kept people coming back to us.”
Mr Stapleton also said the company has seen pressure from supply chain challenges but stressed these are currently easing.
He said the business has “very good stock” of children’s bikes and electric bikes ahead of increased demand for the important Christmas period.
The company said it is “confident” in its ability to navigate the inflationary and operational headwinds in the second half of the financial year.
Shares were 14.5% higher at 319p in early trading.
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