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Halfords shares on a steep descent after summer washout hits bike sales

Halfords reports disappointing sales in bikes - and blames a thoroughly British summer

Halfords has seen disappointing sales figures on bikes for the summer, reporting decreasing trading for the 8-week period 4 July 2015 to 28 August 2015.

The disappointing cycling performance, down 11 per cent, was down to greater levels of discounting on mainstream bike brands, as well as poor weather deterring casual cyclists.

On the other hand, the groups’s cycle repair business remained strong, up 28 per cent.

Its weather explanation for weaker bike sales is supported by national statistics.

According to the Met Office, summer rainfall was up 13% on average by 26 August and the summer is set to have been wetter than all but five summers since 1988.

However shareholders were unimpressed and the group’s shares fell 8.5 per cent to close at 466.2p.

The news comes since the company’s acquisition of Olympic champion Chris Boardman’s eponymous bike business, plus the revamp of its Cycle Republic chain and more space devoted to bikes and accessories in the mainstream stores.

Halfords commented: “As we exit the peak season for mainstream bikes we will launch a complete refresh of children's bikes and accessories alongside a series of compelling offers for customers, underpinned by continued product and service training for colleagues.

“Looking further ahead, we have an exciting pipeline of innovation for bikes and accessories and we remain confident in the medium and long-term growth opportunities in the cycling market.”

Jill McDonald, Chief Executive, commented: "This recent weakness in our cycling sales is disappointing, but it comes after two years of very strong growth in the category.

"Looking ahead, we remain confident in the long-term growth opportunities in cycling.”

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