Halfords is looking to “evolve” its strategy in the new financial year after posting group pre-tax profit down 26.6% to £92.2m for the year to March 30 amid concerns that the tough economic climate has impacted motorists and the weather has dampened cycle sales

Halfords

“Although trading has clearly been tough for a number of reasons, including the weather, our view of ten months ago now seems worryingly accurate. Out concerns were that Halfords retail was mature and had enjoyed supernormal profits over the last two years, benefiting from advantageous product trends and ‘staycation’ shopping habits. We also feel management has squeezed the cost base and working capital too hard to try and meet expectations.” - Freddie George, Seymour Pierce

“The retail business has not seen the usual seasonal demand for cycling and outdoor leisure products. The weather has clearly impacted sales and they [the management] believe that some sales have been deferred rather than cancelled.” - Mark Photiades, Singer Capital Markets

“The focus of the statement is on the strategic initiatives and investments that are being implemented. There is a recognition that, for example, in bikes while Halfords sells more than anyone else in the UK ‘we are not necessarily always the best cycle shop in very town. This must be our inspiration’.” - Sanjay Vidyarthi, Execution Noble

“Although disappointing to trim forecasts again, the exposition of management’s growth plans, based on detailed customer research, should instil greater confidence on medium-term prospects.” - David Jeary, Investec

“Overall, our view is that Halfords is a well run business with a clear sense of direction. Some of the current performance is undoubtedly cyclical and will bounce back once the economy rebounds. In the meantime, management is taking the right steps to ensure the business weathers the storm.” - Matt Piner, Coluumino