- Cycling and motor equipment retailer Halfords reported rising sales after an especially warm summer helped it weather an otherwise 'challenging' retail environment.

For the 20 weeks to 17 August, revenue grew 2.7% and like-for-like (LFL) revenue rose 2.8%.

The uptick in sales was attributed to improved retail performance over the summer period, driven by demand for electric bikes, which helped offset the impact of poor weather at the start of the year and an early Easter, the company said.

Retail LFL rose 2.6% and autocentres LFL rose 4.0%, in line with management expectations.

Online sales grew 11.3% with over 85% of orders collected in store, the company said.

The company maintained its guidance for the current year and said it anticipated full-year 2019 underlying pre-tax profit would be broadly in line with 2018.

'I am pleased with the trading performance for the first 20 weeks of the year in what continues to be a challenging retail environment,' chief executive Graham Stapleton said.

'In retail, sales growth was supported by fitting services, new ranges of workshop and car cleaning products, and electric bikes.'

'In Autocentres, we continued to build momentum on our transformation plan.'

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