Halfords chief David Wild quits as sales fall

Halfords store
Image caption Wet weather hit sales at Halfords

Car parts and bicycle retailer Halfords says its chief executive is stepping down and has reported falling sales after the wet weather hit trading.

David Wild is to leave the company with immediate effect, and chairman Dennis Millard will take over the role until a successor is found.

Halfords said like-for-like revenues fell 5.6% in the 13 weeks to 29 June.

The retailer said the recent wet weather had hit sales of bikes and outdoor leisure goods.

Halfords employs about 12,000 staff, and operates more than 460 stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland. It also has more than 260 Halfords Autocentres.

Halfords Group

Last Updated at 18 Jan 2018, 16:21 GMT *Chart shows local time Halfords Group intraday chart
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In May, the company had reported a 27% fall in annual profits to £92m, with revenues down 1%, citing a "tough economic environment".

In its latest trading update, Halfords said that given the "uncertain" trading conditions, it now assumed that like-for-like sales would be lower for the first half of its financial year, and would be "flat to mid-single-digit negative" in the second half.

"The consumer environment remains difficult and unseasonal weather conditions this quarter had a direct impact on the sales of cycles and outdoor leisure products," said Mr Millard.

The one bright spot for Halfords came from its Autocentres, where like-for-like sales were up 9.2%.

Despite the downbeat news, shares in Halfords rose 9% to 215 pence in early morning trade.

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