Halfords sees profits at lower end of range

CAR parts to bicycles retailer Halfords forecast full-year profit at the lower end of the current range after posting worse than expected like-for-like sales at its stores in the run up to Christmas.

The company said that sales from Halfords stores open at least a year fell 6.6 per cent in the thirteen weeks to December 31, compared to declines of four per cent and five per cent forecast by analysts.

Halfords, which runs over 460 Halfords stores and the 240-site Nationwide Autocentres car servicing business, said it expected pre-tax profit for the full-year to be at the lower end of the current 127m to 135m range forecast by analysts.

Like-for-like sales at its Autocentres rose 1.6 per cent in the period while its retail outlets were hit by a 16 per cent drop in like-for-like sales of bicycles as fewer bikes were given to children as presents, said the company.