... but management at Halfords (LSE: HFD) maintains interim dividend.
Halfords (LSE: HFD) announced a slump in pre-tax profits in today's preliminary half-year report, crashing 23.4% to £41.9m compared to £54.7m at the halfway stage last year. As a result, the share price has slumped by 3.3%, or 11.30p, to 333.70p at the time of writing.
Retail was the division most affected, with operating profit before non-recurring items plunging 23.6% to £42m against £55m at HY12, while total group revenue fell 1.9% to £393m in contrast to the halfway figure last year of £400.6m.
However, its Autocentres division saw a 10% boost in operating profit, up to £3.3m from £3m, and a 17.2% increase in revenue after bringing in £62.6m against £53.4m in the previous year's interim.
Back in October, despite announcing first-half results ahead of expectations, management spoke words of caution for its second-half sales, and that has come to fruition, with basic earnings per share slipping 16.8% to 16.4p. This morning, chairman Dennis Millard said:
"Our second-half Retail planning assumptions remain unchanged and cautious given the prevailing pressures on the consumer as we approach the important winter and Christmas trading periods. We continue to plan for a full-year Group Profit before tax and non-recurring items of between £66m and £70m. We have a strong platform for sustainable growth; the management team retains its focus on active trading, cash generation, prudent cost management and the delivery of strategic objectives."
Indeed, all was not doom and gloom, as net debt was reduced by 23% to £107.9m, while free cash flow was up 47% to £59.5m with a "continued focus on investment priorities and cash management".
Importantly for investors, though, the interim dividend of 8 pence per share was maintained, and is due to be paid out on 25 January, shortly after its Q3 interim statement on 15 January.
On these figures, Halfords remains a high-yielder at over 6%, and with the busy Christmas shopping period ahead, has the potential to easily recover from this minor slip. One for this Fool's watch list, at least.
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> Sam does not own shares in Halfords. The Motley Fool owns shares in Halfords.