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Fine weather sees sales increase for Halfords

Bike sales up thanks to sun, expect a dip next then...

The recent spell of fine weather has seen an increase in sales for car maintenance and cycling firm Halfords. Dry weather, the success of the Cycle2Work initiative and the sales of premium cycles helped drive the firm’s leisure category, causing like-for-like sales to rise by 1.3 per cent.

In the 13 weeks ended July 3 the company said that group sales increased 3.1 per cent, as it benefitted from recession-hit families preparing for summer holidays in the UK. Chief executive officer David Wild said: “This performance represents a solid start to the year and at this early stage is ahead of our internal plan.

“The trading of our core categories of car maintenance and cycling, where we continue to grow market share, together with a good start to the season in camping, is pleasing.”

The company did add however that the tough condition in the property market led to a reduced number of store openings in the quarter.

Halfords also called for a tax break on children’s bikes to help kids keep fit. The Halfords PR campaign will urge the Government to reduce VAT on children’s bikes and accessories from 15 per cent to five per cent.

Mr Wild added: “Figures show that the number of children cycling is lower than 10 years ago and we know that one of the reasons for this decline in cycling is the cost involved.

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