September 4, 2019 / 6:49 AM / 13 days ago

Britain's Halfords warns political uncertainty denting sales

LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) - British bicycles to car parts retailer Halfords on Wednesday reported sales fell in the 20 weeks to Aug. 16 and warned economic and political uncertainty would hurt big-ticket discretionary spending for the rest of its fiscal year.

In May, Halfords reported an 18% fall in 2018-19 pretax profit to 58.8 million pounds ($72.2 million) and forecast a flat outcome in 2019-20.

It said on Wednesday it was now anticipating an underlying pretax profit of 50-55 million pounds.

For the 20 weeks to Aug. 16 Halfords said group like-for-like revenue fell 3.2%. It blamed cooler, wetter weather and weaker consumer confidence for the weaker-than-expected performance.

Halfords said the sales fall was partially mitigated by stronger margins and tight cost control.

Shares in Halfords, down 48% over the last year, closed Tuesday at 172.3 pence, valuing the group at 343 million pounds. ($1 = 0.8145 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey, editing by Deepa Babington)

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