• Group like-for-likes slip 0.6% 
  • Retail like-for-likes fall 1.2%
  • Motoring sales up 0.6%
  • Cycling LFLs slide 4% due to poor weather and timing of Easter

Halfords has posted a 0.6% drop in first-quarter group like-for-likes as it blamed bad weather for a slide in sales in its cycling division.

The retailer said “poor” weather in April and late June and the timing of Easter led to a 4% drop in cycling like-for-likes in the 13 weeks to July 1. However Halfords reported “good” sales growth for premium bikes, without offering more detail.

In its motoring division, like-for-likes rose 0.6%, led by the sales of bulbs, blades and batteries.

Halfords Autocentres business reported its 11th consecutive quarter of growth with like-for-likes up 3.1%, driven by tyre sales and longer opening hours.

Halfords’ total group sales rose 2.1% in the quarter.

It comes after the retailer last month reported a drop in full-year profits.

Chief executive Jill McDonald branded the first-quarter a “solid” performance and said she looked forward to the “peak” summer season for cycling.

On Brexit, she added: “While the recent decision to leave the EU does create uncertainty, we are well-positioned as a business and focused on delivering sustainable long-term growth.”

Halfords has 75% of its purchases hedged, but warned there could be a “small” impact for the full-year if the sterling exchange rate against the dollar stays below 1.45.

In May, the retailer acquired online cycling specialist Tredz. Today it said the business has “performed well” since the deal.