Halfords sales slow as chief exec resigns

11 February 2008 09:23

Halfords Group has reported weaker than expected sales growth and added that its chief executive Ian McLeod has resigned after three years.
Like-for-like sales at the company increased by just 2% in the 17 weeks to January 25th against high comparatives, significantly below sales growth of 5.5% in the first half. However, the company also said that it remains on track to deliver full year profit in line with expectations.
In a statement, Mr McLeod pointed to what he called the "resilient and defensive nature of Halfords", adding that the company had confidence in its prospects for the rest of the financial year following a challenging autumn.
At the same time, Halfords confirmed Mr McLeod’s decision to resign his position in order to join Australian grocer Coles as managing director. The board of Halfords said that it would select a successor from a range of internal and external candidates and a search consultancy had been appointed to assist with the process.
In the interim, two board executives Paul McClenaghan (trading director) and Nick Wharton (finance director) will report to the chairman as acting joint managing directors.
Richard Pym, chairman, said: "Ian McLeod has been a fantastic chief executive in the three years that he has held the position and whilst we are disappointed he has resigned, we understand his decision to accept the opportunity that has been offered.
"The Halfords board would like to thank Ian for his valuable contribution to the company's successful growth and development".
Mr McLeod added: "It has been a privilege to be part of the Halfords transition from private ownership to an independently listed company once again, and then continue to build our financial performance and market position year after year.
"The decision to leave has therefore not been an easy one as I have thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone to deliver the improvements that have been achieved together. I am confident that Halfords’ success will continue given the company's strength in its people and in each of its core categories".

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