Halfords has reported strong first half trading with revenue growing by 9.6% to £638.9 million in the six months to October 2nd. Like-for-like sales in the period increased by 6.7% following a like-for-like uplift of 8.1% in retail sales. However, like-for-like sales at Halfords’ autocentres business declined by 2%.

The results meant that the retailer posted an underlying pre-tax profit of £56 million compared to £25.9 million in the same period in the previous year.

Graham Stapleton, Halfords chief executive, said: “We are very pleased to have achieved such a strong first half performance against the backdrop of one of the most challenging trading environments in recent history.

“We have worked hard to capitalise on the cycling market tailwinds by sourcing more stock from existing and new suppliers, as well as launching new products and brands to serve the high level of demand for our cycling products and services.

“Despite the headwinds we have seen in motoring, with UK traffic 30% lower than pre-Covid-19 levels and the impact of the MOT deferment, our ‘Road Ready’ campaign and the investments we have made in our motoring services business have enabled us to increase market share and grow the business in Q2.”