Strong Q4 trading has led Halfords Group to upgrade its full-year pre-tax profit forecast to be within the range of £90 million – £100 million. Up from the £55.9 million posted in April 2020.
Thanks to this better-than-expected overall performance, the motoring and cycling products retailer has pledged full repayment of the £10.7m furlough income it received.
In its latest trading update – released yesterday on 1 March, the company explained that the profit range was ‘quite broad’ as the continuing lockdown made sales ahead of the Easter holiday ‘particularly difficult to predict’. The profit range is also after the furlough repayment.
In the first seven weeks of the fourth quarter (from 2 January to 19 February), like-for-like growth for the group was +6.2 per cent, with Retail at +5.1 per cent and Autocentres +13.3 per cent.
Bike sales were booming during this period – spurred on by the continuing demand during lockdown. Despite overall supply issues, Cycling like-for-like growth was +43 per cent, with kids and adult mechanical bikes performing well. While Halfords says its online Tredz brand saw an ‘exceptional growth’ of +60 per cent.
The group plans to announce its preliminary results on 17 June 2021.