Product diversity sees car spares retailer through
Halfords has produced a strong set of maiden preliminary results that undermine assertions that the retail sector as a whole is in recession.

The bikes to car accessories retailer increased turnover by 8.6 per cent to£628.4 million for the 52 weeks to April 1. Like-for-like sales were up 8.9 per cent, with a contribution from stores with mezzanine floors.

Profit before tax sped ahead 130.6 per cent to£76.9 million, although this reflected a halving of the retailer's debt. Halfords reduced its debt to£169.7 million from£349.5 million the previous year following its IPO last June. Operating profit rose by 19.5 per cent to£78.3 million.

The retailer has built on its established dominance of the sector by further expanding its selling space and broadening its product ranges. In addition, Halfords chairman Rob Templeman cited the retailer's commitment to after-sales service as a contributor to its growth.

He said: 'Although the retail climate has become more subdued, we have a strong and differentiated business with a proven strategy for growth, which provides a solid platform from which to build and gives us confidence about Halfords' growth prospects for the future.'