Halfords sees profits surge during pandemic

Halfords has reported revenue growth of 9.6% in the 26 weeks to 2 October 2020, enabling it to achieve a pre-tax profit of £56 million, a rise of 116.2%.

Online sales were especially strong in this period due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions that began in March, up by 148%.

This strong performance was largely driven by the increasing popularity of cycling during the Covid-19 lockdown, with sales in this area of Halford’s business up by 54.4% on a like-for-like basis during the six months. This included a 184% sales increase in e-mobility and 24% rise in cycle services.

Additionally, the retailer’s performance cycling business Tredz saw sales grow by 69%, while revenue went up by 38.7% in its autocentres, “accelerating quickly from June” following the easing of the first national lockdown restrictions.

The company added that it had managed to lower operating costs by 2.9% compared to last year, helped by efficiency programmes, business rates relief and furlough income.

Graham Stapleton, chief executive officer at Halfords, commented: "We are very pleased to have achieved such a strong first half performance against the backdrop of one of the most challenging trading environments in recent history. It is a great testament to the strength and adaptability of our business, as well as to the professionalism, hard work and dedication of our colleagues.

“We have worked hard to capitalise on the cycling market tailwinds by sourcing more stock from existing and new suppliers, as well as launching new products and brands to serve the high level of demand for our cycling products and services. Despite the headwinds we have seen in motoring, with UK traffic 30% lower than pre-Covid-19 levels and the impact of the MOT deferment, our ‘Road Ready’ campaign and the investments we have made in our motoring services business have enabled us to increase market share and grow the business in Q2.”