Halfords group like-for-likes rose 7.5% during the first quarter against weak comparables as it implements its £100m Getting into Gear strategy.
The cycling and car parts specialist revealed like-for-likes in its retail business surged 8.8% while its Autocentres garages business recorded a “disappointing” 0.9% slip in like-for-likes.
Halfords group sales increased 8.8% driven by its retail business - where sales rose 9% - and a 7.8% increase at its Autocentres.
Meanwhile, online sales surged 15.5%, with cycling comprising more than half the sales and online sat nav sales increasing 9.4%.
Halfords chief executive Matt Davies said: “Our retail performance reflected better trading execution in areas of opportunity whilst we were up against a weak comparative period. Autocentres like-for-like sales reflected an adverse fleet performance but we continued to expand our network as planned.”
Halfords revealed cycling like-for-likes grew 15.5% with sales up across all areas as its cycling repair category soared 32.1% due to the warmer weather. It also launched its cycling parts, accessories and clothing range online.
But Davies said that more people have been enjoying indoor cycling as sales of its indoor footwear Turbo Trainers surged 235%.
Its travel solutions category fell 1.9% as growth in camping sales was offset by a further decline in child car seat sales.
Car maintenance like-for-likes increased 11.8% as car part sales increased 16.7% driven by Halfords’ fitting services. Car enhancement jumped 3% as car cleaning sales were up “strongly” but technology sales fell 3.5%.
Davies said he is predicting a tough second quarter as it competes with the cycle sales driven by the interest in the Olympics which took place in the same period last year.
He added: “We have made some good calls on stock to support cycling better but the fact there isn’t an Olympic Games this summer will make it tough.”
In May Davies revealed a new three-year £100m investment strategy to generate profits of £1bn by 2016.
Davies added: “Our focus is on delivering this plan over the medium term to drive sustainable and profitable revenue growth.”