Despite a full-year pre-tax profit drop of 20%, leisure retailer Halfords is planning to create over 1000 new jobs in the next three years, in a bid to put its business back on track.
The bikes to car parts retailer reported profits to be down to £94.1 million as compared to £118.1 million a year earlier. The retailer said that ‘the wettest April on record’ had affected sales across the high street, contributing to a drop in total group revenue to £863.1 million, as compared with £869.7million in 2011.
Unfettered by the bad results, Halfords said it planned to invest in “key areas of growth” in the coming year, including cycling, fitting services and autocentres.”This will accelerate our transition to a contemporary solutions provider and will create up to 1,000 new jobs”, the company stated. Halfords currently employs about 12,000 staff at its 467 stores in the UK and Ireland.
Even though overall results were down, cycling did well as like-for-like revenues increased 9.7%, and in-store service revenue rose by 22.6% as demand for fittings soared. David Wild, chief executive, said the company wished to become “the friend of the motorist, the best cycle shop in town, and a starting point for great getaways”. “Halfords continues to be profitable and strongly cash generative and we are seeking to maximise our performance in this demanding retail environment”, he added.
It may be noted that Halfords’ sales fell in the first quarter of 2012 as customers cut back on car accessories and cleaning products.