The Recovery Continues At Halfords Group plc

Shares in Halfords (LSE: HFD) jumped by more than 7% in early trade this morning, following the release of the group’s interim management statement.

The recovery continues to pick up pace, as group revenue increased by 6.6% for the 15-week period to 10 January, and by 7.3% for the 41-week period to the same date. Like-for-like revenue grew by 5.9% in retail across the 15 weeks, and Halfords’ Autocentres division was marginally up by 0.1% in the same period (although down 1.4% across 41 weeks, while retail posted a 7.1% increase).

In fact, in the previously struggling retail departments, only Car Enhancement saw a decline in like-for-like revenue (-4% for the 15 weeks, -0.9% over 41 weeks) while Cycling surged by 19.5% and 16.1% respectively, Car Maintenance grew by 3.4% and 6.6% and Travel Solutions was up by 1.7% and 2.3%.

Management gave special mentions to record levels reached for the fitting of car parts, despite the relatively mild weather, and significant growth in its cycling sales, citing excellent performances from accessories and children’s bikes.

Chief executive Matt Davies commented:

“Our Retail top-line performance was robust in a period of comparatively mild weather. Cycling was again the standout performer, with our customers engaged by refreshed ranges, supported by a renewed customer-first promotional stance.”

“Within Car Maintenance, despite a fall in demand for winter products and low growth in auto-parts sales, we undertook record levels of 3Bs fitting activity. Getting Into Gear is progressing well and our key indicators are moving in the right direction. During the period we refurbished a further 12 stores and successfully relaunched”

The secret to successful growth investing is learning when to buy -- and when to sell -- fast-growing stocks, and The Motley Fool has provided this exclusive special report on the topic.

"10 Steps To Making A Million In The Market" is completely free, but will only be available for a limited time only -- click here to get your copy now!

> Sam does not own shares in Halfords.