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Trading statements

Halfords sees strong sale growth

19 January 2017 07:26

Halfords Group saw strong sales growth in the third quarter and announced a special dividend of 10p per share which will be paid in February.

But there is no change to its expectation of group pre-tax profits for the current financial year, which is in line with market consensus.

Group revenue rose by 11.4% in the 15 weeks to 13 January, with Retail LFL up 7.0% and Autocentres LFL down 0.6%.

The group saw growth in all Retail categories as it continued to execute its 'Moving up a Gear' strategy.

In Motoring, the group saw continued growth in fitting services alongside strong performances in batteries, dashcams and child seats.

In Cycling, the group saw sales growth in both bikes and PACs4 helped by new ranges. Cycle Republic and Tredz continued to grow strongly.

In Autocentres, it continued to enhance its customer proposition through extended opening hours and new technician pay grading, reflected by improving customer metrics.

The group said: "There is no change to our expectation of Group Profit Before Tax for the current financial year, which is in line with market consensus. We anticipate that, following the investment in and the special dividend announced today, net debt to EBITDA will be circa 0.8 times at the end of this financial year.

"We have developed detailed plans in response to the increase in costs from adverse FX movement and we are confident that we will be able to fully mitigate the impact over time."

Chief executive Jill McDonald said: "I am very pleased with the strong sales performance across our business in the important third quarter of the year.

"We continue to make good progress implementing our 'Moving up a Gear' strategy which will enable us to capitalise on the long term growth opportunities in our markets.

"We benefited from growth in new ranges, our unique 'wefit' services and great execution by our colleagues over the busy peak period."

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