Halfords has reported pre-tax profit up 12.8% to £68.7m, but like-for-likes suffered, falling 4.9%.
For the 26 weeks to October 1, Halfords said sales were up 7.3% to £456.3m.
During the period, the retailer has reconfigured the group’s warehouse and distribution network, the remodelling of staffing structures and closed its central European operations. Chief executive David Wild said this will “reduce costs, enhance customer service and provide a strong platform for our next phase of growth that will be clearly focused in the UK”.
He also said he has “concluded the refinancing of the group’s debt arrangements on favourable terms”.
Retail sales for the period were down 4.2%, representing a like-for-like sales fall of 4.3%.
In the six weeks since the half year ended, Wild said “trading conditions for retail have remained challenging with like-for-like sales down 5%”.
Wild said in the half year its Autocentres business has “made good progress, gaining market share”. He added: “Our development plan is on track with 15 new centres to be opened and the entire network to be rebranded Halfords Autocentres by the end of the financial year.”
In spring the retailer will launch an ad campaign to drive sales and position Halfords as “the UK’s leading independent operator in garage servicing and auto repair”.