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Halfords warns of “acute” bike shortage – despite booming profits

Profits double at car parts and cycling business during lockdown, but there are supply issues ahead

Halfords has warned of an “acute” bike shortage due to global demand and supply chain issues, despite seeing its profits nearly double during the COVID-19 crisis.

The bike and car part retailer and servicing company said today as it announced its annual results that it had serviced over 1 million bikes during the past year as people turned to two wheels during the pandemic.

Profits were up by 184 per cent to £64.5 million, driven mainly by sales in the cycling category, up by 54 per cent on a like-for-like basis, with sales of e-bikes and electric scooters near doubling.

But chief executive Graham Stapleton said: “Supply was, and remains, a challenge, but where necessary we quickly adapted specifications and componentry to mitigate bottlenecks in production and worked with new suppliers to achieve a steady intake of bikes throughout the year.

“Covid-19 was clearly the most significant challenge faced by any retailer,” he said, “but we have also faced Brexit, container shortages, port congestion and more recently, the blockage of the Suez canal.

“Our performance not only showcases the resilience of our core business and the relevance of our strategy but also the importance of our progress in creating a more efficient and profitable business.

“The general economic outlook remains challenging, with consumers likely to be more cautious,” Stapleton added.

“The dramatic acceleration in online shopping and a more challenging economic picture have brought value into sharp focus.”

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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