Halfords looks to Rio Olympics to boost bike sales

Sir Bradley Wiggins has designed a bike range for Halfords Image copyright PA
Image caption Sir Bradley Wiggins has designed a bike range for Halfords

Halfords is hoping for an Olympics bounce to stem a slide in bike sales, which have continued to fall.

Like-for-like cycle sales fell 4% in the three months to 1 July, which chief executive Jill McDonald blamed on poor weather and the timing of Easter.

Halfords hopes that new bike ranges designed with Sir Bradley Wiggins and Laura Trott, who are both competing in the Rio Olympics, will boost demand.

In the year to March, bike sales at Halfords had fallen by 0.9%.

Halfords said that sales of premium bikes, which are priced between £500 and £5,000 and include the Pinarello model ridden by Team Sky, performed well over the first quarter. However, wet weather and the timing of Easter affected sales of mainstream models and accessories.

Overall, Halford's like-for-like sales fell 0.6%. Its retail division gained from strong demand in car maintenance and for child safety seats, but declining sales of sat navs dragged revenues at its car enhancement sector down 4.2%.

Halfords said in June that it expected the weak pound to knock £3m off its profits. Following the steep fall in sterling against the dollar since Britain voted to leave the European Union, the company said it may have further small impact in the financial year.

Commenting on Brexit, Ms McDonald said: "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."

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