Halfords’ full-year pre-tax profits have dipped despite an increase in like-for-likes.
The retailer also said profits in the current financial year are likely to be flat.
Halfords’ underlying pre-tax profit slipped 5% to £71.6m on revenue up 3.7%, or 2% like-for-like, to £1.14bn last year.
Chief financial officer Jonny Mason said the retailer’s pre-tax profit dip could be attributed entirely to currency fluctuations, while profits in its current financial year would be impeded by accelerated investments in “good things like services and the customer journey”.
Sales at its retail business advanced 4.1% to £977.2m, and like-for-likes were ahead 2.3%. The Autocentres division’s sales rose 0.8%, or 0.2% like-for-like, to £157.9m.
However, margins took a hit at the retail arm as Halfords was affected by sterling’s weakness versus the dollar.
Halfords chief executive Graham Stapleton, who took up the role in January, said performance had been creditable in tough retail conditions.
He said: “Halfords is a good business with a great future. By focusing more on our specialisms and our services, ensuring that we always provide best value to our customers and presenting a more seamless and inspirational omnichannel experience, there is a really exciting future of growth ahead of us.”
He will unveil his plans for the business in September.
Halfords expected the motoring market to remain “robust” and said there are “good prospects” in cycling, although it did not envisage prices in the latter category to rise this year as they did last.
Halfords also named former British Airways chief executive Keith Williams as its new chairman. He will take up the post at the end of the AGM on July 24, and succeeds Dennis Millard, who has held the role for nine years.