Motor accessories and bikes group Halfords remains on analysts’ buy lists despite the departure of finance director Nick Wharton and anticipation of weakening sales.

Broker KBC Peel Hunt said Halfords’ recent share price fall was a buying opportunity.

“Ultimately, we believe a short-term trading blip should not detract from what is fundamentally an attractive medium-term growth story, underpinned by acquisitions and underlying earnings growth,” he said.

Investec also rates Halfords a buy ahead of the second-quarter update and investor day next week.

Analyst David Jeary expects a like-for-like sales fall of 5% to 6% at the core chain but does not envisage any change of profits guidance.

Arden Partners’ Nick Bubb cut his price target but stuck to his buy stance. “We are lowering our sights from 650p to 550p,” he said.