Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Halfords and Mothercare Shine amid High St Gloom

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Halfords and Mothercare Shine amid High St Gloom

Article excerpt

Byline: HUGO DUNCAN

THE High Street enjoyed some all-too-rare good news today as Halfords and Mothercare weathered much of the storm that has battered other retailers.

The pair reported rising profits and lifted their dividends despite the carnage on the High Street that has seen even John Lewis and Marks & Spencer take a hammering.

Halfords, seller of bicycles and gizmos for cars, raised its dividend as it reported 3.2% first-half profits growth to [pounds sterling]49.1 million.

Chief executive David Wild said the dividend increase of 5.3% to 5p reflected "continued confidence in our future prospects" despite the recession. Revenues were up 1.6% to [pounds sterling]407.1 million in the 26 weeks to 26 September but like-for-like sales were down 1.1%. Wild conceded that the start of the second half "has seen some further slowdown in like-for-like sales performance" as he warned Halfords was "resilient to the downturn, although not immune". …

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