Bicycles continue to be one of the star performers at Halfords, which has this morning revealed strong sales growth in the category during the final three months of its 2011/12 financial year in an update on trading to the City. The company, which is Britain's biggest bike retailer, is also looking forward to a further boom in sales of bikes due to this summer's Olympics.
Like-for-like figures - based on sales from stores in the UK and Ireland that have been trading for more than 365 days and which therefore provide an accurate year-on-year picture of trading - show that revenue from cycling rose by 5.7 per cent in the three months to 30 March 2012, which the company said was attributable to a "strong performances in Premium and Children's Bikes."
Looking ahead, the Redditch-based company said: "We also anticipate a particularly buoyant, albeit competitive, cycling market this year given the strong interest in Team GB at the Olympics, and our trading plans reflect the intention to maintain our market-leading position."
The performance in bicycles helped Halfords' leisure segment, of which the category forms part, post like-for-like revenue growth of 2.2 per cent during the quarter. Elsewhere in the business, again on a like-for-like basis, Halfords Autocentres saw revenue rise by 8.2 per cent and car maintenance was up 3.1 per cent, but revenue from car enancement plunged by 14.5 per cent. Total UK and Republic of Ireland like-for-like revenue was down by 2.3 per cent for the period.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.