Halfords sees cycling revenue fall in first half of 2023

Cycling is just 25% of the UK's biggest cycling retailer's revenue now

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The UK-based car and cycling specialist Halfords saw its cycling revenue fall by 2.7% in the first 20 weeks of 2023, compared with the same period in 2022, according to data released on Wednesday. 

While its overall like-for-like revenue was up 7.8%, largely because of growth in its Autocentres, the company's cycling revenue was down. It is the UK's biggest cycling retailer.

Halfords said that cycling, along with car cleaning and touring, were "adversely impacted by unfavourable weather and low consumer confidence". Cycling now represents just 25% of the total revenue, with Autocentres making up more of Halfords' revenue.

The 20-week trading update also stated: "Our strong market share performance helped mitigate the market under-performance."

The company now expects full-year underlying pre-tax profit to be between £48 million and £58 million compared to an earlier forecast of  between £51.0 million and £57.7 million.

"It’s been a good start to the year for Halfords, and our ongoing focus on essential maintenance and servicing is driving a strong performance in our Autocentre and retail motoring business," Graham Stapleton, Halfords' CEO said in a statement. "Group Motoring, which now accounts for over 75% of our total sales, is a resilient sector and we’re progressing with our long-term plans to become a one-stop-shop for motoring ownership.

“We’re continuing to do everything that we can to support our customers through the cost-of-living crisis and are determined to offer them unrivalled value."

The fall in Halfords' cycling revenue follows financial struggles for other cycling retailers. 

Last week, online cycling retailer Wiggle Chain Reaction Cycles (CRC) posted a pre-tax loss of almost £100million in its latest company accounts, citing Brexit and the post-pandemic cycling slump as factors that hit the business.

In documents filed last month, the directors presented their report on the company’s finances, in which they noted a “challenging” economic situation in the UK. 

“The Group is suffering from the aftereffects of the Covid pandemic,” Wiggle chief finance officer Adrian Bruce wrote, highlighting that the lockdowns initially led to a “pull forward of revenue”. 

In June, Evans Cycles reported a pre-tax loss of £5.2m ($6.5m) in the year to 25 April 2022, down from £2.7m ($3.4m) the year before.

The group also reported a 50% fall in revenue to £45.3m from £91.6m. However, this was due to a restructuring of the firm following its integration into the Fraser Group business alongside other brands including sports direct.

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