Strong Q1 Sales At Halfords Group Plc

Halfords (LSE: HFD) today released its first-quarter interim management statement for FY14, which covers the 13-week period up to 28th June 2013.

It showed that overall group revenues are up a decent 8.8%, with the retail arm posting a gain of 9%.  This is particularly impressive when you consider it outperformed like-for-like retail revenue by 8.8%.

Cycling again proved to be a key revenue driver for the group, as it saw cycle repairs increase by just over 32%. It also released a broader range of parts, accessories and clothing for sale online.  Cycling products were actually responsible for over half of online revenues, for which Halfords saw a total increase of nearly 16%. 

In terms of what it’s known for best, the group saw the sale of car parts rise by almost 17%.  This could be attributed to the new “Wefit” fitting proposition launched, where customers can have an array of products — for example batteries, headlight bulbs and wiper blades — fitted to their cars for a small fee.  

The Autocentre arm of the business also saw a rise in revenue of nearly 8%, which is actually down nearly a whole percentage point compared to last year.  However, it reported continued expansion in this area with the news that seven new centres opened within this 13-week period, which is in line with expectations.

Chief executive Matt Davies commented:

Our Retail performance reflected better trading execution in areas of opportunity whilst we were up against a weak comparative period. Autocentres LfL sales reflected an adverse fleet performance but we continued to expand our network as planned.

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> Chris owns shares in Halfords.