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Bike sales continue to grow at Halfords despite availability issues

Retailer optimistic about outlook for cycling despite continued supply chain disruption

Halfords has said that it continues to see strong growth in sales of bikes and cycling products despite problems in availability but has cautioned that supply issues continue to be a problem.

The motoring and cycling retailer issued the warning as it updated the City on its trading in the first 20 weeks of its current financial year, in which it expects to achieve pre-tax profit of £75 million.

The update comes just days after trade experts at the Eurobike trade show in Germany warned that the global bike shortage was set to last until at least the end of 2022.

> Bike shortages to last until at least end-2022, say trade experts

The company’s CEO, Graham Stapleton, said that the first 20 weeks of the current financial year Halfords had “delivered a strong trading performance against a hugely challenging backdrop.

“Our motoring business now represents 65 per cent of our revenues and continues to go from strength to strength, driven by the increased scale of our Autocentres business, the ongoing demand for our Halfords Mobile Expert Vans, and by recent staycation trends.

“Although our cycling business is currently impacted by the considerable disruption in the global supply chain, as the UK's largest cycling retailer we are well positioned to adapt and to serve our customers, and we remain confident in the long-term outlook for the cycling market,” he added.

“The strength of our overall performance is a clear illustration of the relevance of our service-led strategy and gives us the confidence to continue with our investment plans.”

Within the cycling category, sales rose by 9.9 per cent against the comparable period last year, and are 24.2 per cent ahead of the similar period two years ago.

However, the company said that “The global cycling supply chain continues to experience considerable capacity constraints, leading to low availability of bikes throughout the period.

“Whilst Kids and Electric bikes have fared better, availability has been especially low in the Adult Mechanical category, contributing to materially lower growth rates towards the end of the period.”

Looking ahead, the company said: “We expect many of the cycling supply chain issues referred to above to continue for some time albeit, as the UK's largest cycling retailer, we are well positioned to navigate these challenges.

“Conversely, we are targeting strong growth in our Services and B2B businesses, alongside an improved Retail Motoring performance.”

Halfords will announce its interim results for the first half of the current financial year on 10 November.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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