May 25, 2017 / 6:49 AM / 4 months ago

Halfords annual profit dented by weaker pound

LONDON, May 25 (Reuters) - British bicycles to car parts retailer Halfords on Thursday reported a 7.5 percent fall in annual profit, hurt by the post-Brexit vote fall in the value of the pound that increased the costs of imported goods.

Halfords’ results for the year to March 31 are the last to be presented by Chief Executive Jill McDonald. She resigned earlier this month to take up a position leading Marks & Spencer’s clothing and homewares business and will leave Halfords in October.

The company made a pretax profit before one-off items of 75.4 million pounds ($97.9 million) - slightly ahead of market expectations of 74.8 million pounds, according to Reuters data, but down from 81.5 million pounds in 2015-16. Revenue increased 7.2 percent to 1.1 billion pounds.

“Profit performance for the year was impacted by the weaker pound but our plans are well developed and I am confident this will be offset over time,” McDonald said.

She said that although currency pressures will continue to impact profits in the current 2017-18 year, mitigation plans were well developed.

“We anticipate FY18 profit to be in line with current market expectations and remain confident in the outlook for the group,” she said.

Shares in Halfords, down 17 percent over the last year, closed on Wednesday at 358.8 pence, valuing the business at 714 million pounds. ($1 = 0.7700 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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