Halfords like-for-likes increased 1.3 per cent in the 13 weeks to June 27 as the bikes and car maintenance retailer benefited from strong multi channel growth.

Total sales climbed 3.1 per cent in the period.

Adjusted for the impact of Easter, like-for-likes edged up 0.1 per cent while total sales grew 1.9 per cent.

Halfords said Reserve and Collect revenues increased 55 per cent, while the leisure category made “an excellent start to the season”, boosted by fine weather and promotional activity.

Cycling and Camping and Travel equipment experienced “strong” like-for-like growth.

Its car maintenance category “traded positively” while the car enhancement category “continued to decline significantly though in line with expectations”.

Gross margins increased, and Halfords expects full year gross margin growth of around 100 basis points.

Halfords said the “difficult conditions in the property market are limiting the availability of quality sites”, which will result in a reduced level of store openings.

Halfords chief executive David Wild said: “This performance represents a solid start to the year and at this early stage is ahead of our internal plan.  As demonstrated by the continued accretion of gross margin and ongoing cost management we remain in control of the direction of the business.

“We remain cautious about the impact of the macro economic environment, particularly in the second half of the year and in our overseas territories where sales remain challenging.

“Nevertheless, we are confident that Halfords will both continue to consolidate share and is well positioned to deliver earnings growth for the year.”