Halfords shares race ahead amid strong sales

Strong performance
Strong performance
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Retailer Halfords has seen shares rise after shrugging off “challenging” market conditions to post a hike in sales.

The car parts-to-bike-group reported a 2.6% rise in like-for-like retail revenues for the 20 weeks to August 17.

Its autocentres division saw comparable sales rise 4%, helping overall group like-for-like revenues rise 2.8%.

Shares in the group surged 7% on the brighter sales result, which comes after Halfords warned in May that annual profits would remain broadly flat. The group kept the guidance unchanged in its latest update.

Motoring sales were the star performer in the retail division - up 3.8% - thanks to strong demand for staycation-related products over the summer, as well as growth in fitting services, car cleaning products and tools.

Bike sales edged 0.8% higher after a hit from cold weather in early spring and the timing of Easter, although the group said it enjoyed a good summer selling period, with electric bikes seeing the strongest sales.

CEO Graham Stapleton said: “I am pleased with the trading performance for the first 20 weeks of the year in what continues to be a challenging retail environment.