Halfords has reported a 7.8 per cent fall in like-for-like sales in the 13 weeks to December 26, with a big fall in the sale of sat-nav devices.

Total sales were down 5.8 per cent, with the Republic of Ireland suffering particularly badly.

Car maintenance and cycling performed well, reflecting that people are concentrating on keeping their present cars on the road rather than investing in new ones and also cycling more during the downturn.

Gross margin increased due to the greater presence of higher margin products and fitting services in the mix. Multichannel sales are showing 50 per cent year-on-year growth.

The company is planning cost-saving programmes, which will save£3.5 million from the next financial year.