Halfords reports profits plummeting by nearly a fifth due to lack of consumer confidence

PUBLISHED: 13:14 08 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:47 08 November 2018

Halfords. Photo: PA Archive/PA Images

Halfords. Photo: PA Archive/PA Images

PA Archive/PA Images

Halfords has revealed that its half-year profits have dropped by nearly a fifth.

The car parts-to-bicycles chain said shoppers were holding back on spending on discretionary items, which was hurting bike sales in particular.

Halfords reported a 23% fall in half-year pre-tax profits to £28.2m and said it expected the “short-term conditions for discretionary spend to remain challenging”.

On an underlying basis, pre-tax profits dropped 17.1% to £30.5m in the six months to September 28.

A number of retailers have issued warnings over the consumer outlook as Brexit worries take their toll, with Sainsbury’s boss Mike Coupe on Thursday describing it as unusually “uncertain” going into the peak Christmas season.

This follows similarly cautious comments from bosses at retail giants Tesco and Marks & Spencer.

The chain said it still continues to expect full-year profits to remain “broadly” flat as it predicts a pick-up in earnings over the final six months.

But it stressed this was dependent on trading over Christmas and assuming average winter weather.

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