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Halfords aiming to get back on track after profits fall

By Holly Williams

Retailer Halfords - which has 14 stores in Northern Ireland - has been left nursing a fall in half-year profits after seeing bike sales slump and said earnings in the next financial year were also unlikely to grow.

But recently-hired boss Jill McDonald put faith in a new turnaround plan to get its performance back on track, including a renewed push in the bike sector, with Olympian and Tour de France champion Sir Bradley Wiggins signed up to launch a new children's range.

Sir Bradley will help design eight bikes as part of his drive to get more children into cycling, with the range due to hit stores next July.

Ms McDonald unveiled her overhaul after a "disappointing" summer for bike sales, which dropped 7.6% on a like-for-like basis in the group's second quarter, down by 11%. It was hit by poor weather and high promotional activity, while the sales fall was also compounded by tough comparisons from a year earlier.

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