Halfords has seen a steep drive down in profits.
The company, which is mainly known for its bike and car part offerings, as well as staff who aren’t at all driven in helping their customers, reported a drop of 25 percent to £71 million in pretax profits for the 12 months to March 2013.
Despite it seeing a small profit in the group revenues, which were up by one percent, and a surge in cycling sales following the success of London 2012 and Sir Bradley Wiggins’ victory in the Tour de France, the company admitted it had seen a “demanding” trading environment.
It also admitted that its car repair arm, Autocentres, which in my opinion is regarded with as much trust as an Only Fools and Horses product, had seen a decline in profit.
However, this didn’t put the company off with it announcing it had opened 23 new Autocentres as investment for long-term growth continues
It has also tried to rectify its losses and appease shareholders, with chief exec Matt Davies announcing an investment plan – codenamed the very original Getting Into Gear 2016 – which will aim to reposition the retail arm of the company and focus on sales growth to support “ongoing sustainable profitability”.
The company has also pledged to improve customer service as well as refit its shops.
Tesco is facing the same fate as many other businesses, reporting the first annual profit loss in nearly 20 years.
The supermarket giant said pre-tax profits were down 51 percent to £1.96 billion, while post-tax profits including the cost of its £1.2 billion US exit were £120 million, marking a decrease of 95.7 percent.
The company confirmed that it would be backing out of the US after its investment in 190 Fresh and Easy stores failed to make it a profit.
In Blighty the company has also announced a property write down of £804 million. This was as a result of a review by the company, which uncovered more than 100 sites, scooped up five years ago for potential stores, now lying dormant.
In a blog post, head honcho Philip Clarke said: “Much of this property was bought more than five years ago, some more than 10 years ago.
“That is before the 2008 financial crisis, before the iPhone, social media, tablet computers, before we knew how profoundly technology would change both how we and our customers live and shop.
“Technology has changed much that we all took for granted and it is still changing. The last five years have shown that change in retail can be disruptive and come in sharp steps, not a steady trend. We must anticipate change and act decisively so we looked hard at the land we own and conclude that although we have a strong and attractive network of stores, we will never develop some of this land, mostly the very large mixed-use developments.”
The past three months have also not been favourable to the company, with Tesco claiming its sales, not including petrol, only rose by 0.5 percent. This was a decrease from the growth the company faced in six weeks to 5 January when the company marked a 1.8 percent rise as a result of Christmas shopping.