Halfords issues a caution over a slowdown in sales as demand for big ticket products have weakened “in the last couple of months.”
Despite this shareholders were given a positive update as sales and profits over the past half year rose due to cycling and motoring products.
Halfords said, “In the last couple of months we have seen some market softening in our discretionary big-ticket categories, which has been reflected in slower like-for-like sales growth.”
Halfords expects to deliver pre-tax profits for the current financial year between £48 million and £53 million.
In the six months to 29 September the company said pre-tax profits improved by 3.3% to £19.3 million.
Halfords autocentres saw strong trading which offset slower growth in the retail business.
Graham Stapleton, chief executive officer of Halfords, said, “Despite the challenging and volatile trading environment and slower-than-expected recovery in some of our markets, we have made a good start to the year, with substantial sales and profit growth, and increased market share across the business.
“At the same time, we supported our customers through the ongoing cost-of-living crisis by delivering great value – when they need it most.”
Stapleton added: “In the face of continuing economic uncertainty, we remain fully focused on optimising every element of the business and I’m particularly pleased with the very strong performance of autocentres, where we are delivering significantly improved returns.
“In light of this, we are accelerating capital investment in the garage services operating model and customer experience in 10 towns in the balance of this financial year.”