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Halfords signs Bradley Wiggins as bike sales stutter

The British Olympian and Tour de France winner will launch the cycle and car-repair chain’s new range of kids’ bikes.

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Bradley Wiggins has replaced Victoria Pendleton as the face of Halfords

Bradley Wiggins has replaced Victoria Pendleton as the face of Halfords (LON:HFD) as the company looks to turn around its struggling bike business.

The British Olympian and Tour de France winner will launch the cycle and car-repair chain’s new range of kids’ bikes.

The lightweight, affordable bikes will be released next July, in an effort to get more children and teenagers into cycling.

Halfords is hoping the moves revive its bike sales, which disappointed in the first half due to bad weather and price-cutting by rivals.

The chain blamed the fall for a dip of almost 6% in first-half pre-tax profit to £46.4mln, as all areas apart from cycling grew.

Peel Hunt doesn’t think the recovery plan will be enough, however.

The broker said: "The plans for cycle sales are solid enough but not earth-shattering and in general the bike vision is nothing new.”

Jill Mcdonald, new chief executive, said: “The cycling performance in the second quarter was disappointing and, given the seasonal mix towards cycling during the summer, this contributed to the decline in group profitability for the period.”

But sales topped £1bn for the first time last year on the back of the success of part of the Tour de France being held in the UK.

McDonald, who joined in March, inherits a company with “solid fundamentals, attractive cash generation which operates in growth markets,” according to Investec.

Shares have lost 17% so far this year, and were almost 10% lower today to 387p.

Quick facts: Halfords Group PLC

Price: 268.5 GBX

LSE:HFD
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £534.63 m
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