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Halfords Profit Almost Triples

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REDDITCH, UK (June 9) – Halfords Group Plc, the U.K.’s largest retailer of auto parts and bicycles, said annual profit almost tripled as the company opened stores to boost sales. Net income for the year ended April 1 rose to 39.9 million pounds ($73 million), or 18.5 pence a share, from 13.5 million pounds, or […]

REDDITCH, UK (June 9) – Halfords Group Plc, the U.K.’s largest retailer of auto parts and bicycles, said annual profit almost tripled as the company opened stores to boost sales.
Net income for the year ended April 1 rose to 39.9 million pounds ($73 million), or 18.5 pence a share, from 13.5 million pounds, or 8 pence, a year earlier, the Redditch, England-based company said today in a statement. Sales increased 8.6 % to 628.4 million pounds and remain positive this year, it said.
The retailer, whose private-equity owners raised 267 million pounds in an initial share sale last year, opened 18 stores in the year, taking the total to 398. Halfords also added mezzanine floors to 38 stores to increase their selling space.
“Mezzanines have been a fantastic trick, but once you’ve done the trick once you’ve got to go and repeat it to keep the City happy,” said Andy Brough, a fund manager at Schroders Investment Management, which oversees assets worth about $6.5 billion. “The outlook for retailing looks pretty tough.”
Shares of Halfords rose 3.5 pence, or 1.2 %, to 291 pence at 8:07 a.m. in London, giving the company a market value of 661 million pounds. The stock, which was sold to investors at 260 pence a share, has dropped 6.5 % this year.
Chief Executive Ian McLeod said Halfords is “trading positively” at a time when U.K. consumer spending is slowing.
Founded as a local hardware store in Birmingham in central England in 1892, Halfords today ranks as the U.K.’s largest retailer of auto parts and bicycles, with about 9,200 employees.
About two-thirds of the company’s sales comes from automotive products such as spare parts, audio systems and alloy wheels. The rest is generated from cycles and cycle parts. (Source: Bloomberg, UK)

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