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Plans To Separate Halfords UK From Mother Boots Co. PLC

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LONDON, UK (January 3) – According to a recent report in the UK Newspaper Sunday Telegraph, Boots Company PLC is about to turn England’s biggest bicycle retailer, Halfords into a completely separate company with its own (public) shares. According to the (unconfirmed) newspaper report, the plans of mother Boots for Halfords is to offer its […]

LONDON, UK (January 3) – According to a recent report in the UK Newspaper Sunday Telegraph, Boots Company PLC is about to turn England’s biggest bicycle retailer, Halfords into a completely separate company with its own (public) shares. According to the (unconfirmed) newspaper report, the plans of mother Boots for Halfords is to offer its shareholders one share in the new Halfords company for each Boots share they already own.
According to UK trade journal Bicycle Business, the selling of Halfords is already for some time now on the Boots agenda and because no interested parties stepped forward the holding is now planning to separate the bicycle and car accessories retail chains.
The plans for the separation of Halfords are not reflected by the results of the retail chain which showed a 6.9% rise in sales and a 24% growth of operating profits. The half year results of end September 2001 indicate a total sales of GBP 272 million (€ 435mn) and an operating profit of GBP 22.2 million (€ 35.5mn). During the half year Halfords saw strong sales in car accessories (plus 20.4%) but declining sales in bicycles. According to a Boots press release, Halfords UK saw its bicycle sales drop 14.2% while the retail chain was able to maintain its UK bike market share which is estimated at about 30%.
Halfords UK operates 407 stores in the UK. During 2001 15 new superstores were opened while Halfords also introduced its Arcade shopping concept which includes the Bike Hut shop in shop concept for the sales of bicycles and bicycle products. The Halfords stores that switched to the Arcade concept saw their sales rise 20.8% in 2001. (JO)

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