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Outgoing Halfords boss blames BREXIT and the weather for slump in profits

THE outgoing boss of HALFORDS posted a 10.5 per cent profits dip yesterday — again blaming factors beyond her control.

Jill McDonald, due to take over M&S’s ailing clothing wing, said takings fell to £71.4million.

Jill McDonald
Jill McDonald has blamed, the pound, the weather and Brexit for the dip in profits
PA:Press Association

Sales of bikes and car parts fell 1.2 per cent in the last three months to March 31. The chief exec blamed the weak Pound and a late Easter in mid-April — falling outside the scope of the results.

She said the Pound’s plunge since the Brexit vote had hiked the cost of imported goods £14million.

But analysts point out the weak Pound could actually help Halfords, with more Brits holidaying in the UK.

Analysts said that the weak Pound could  help Halfords as more Brits are holidaying in the UK

Ms McDonald said yesterday: “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.”

She added there was “uncertainty” over consumer spending given the squeeze on household budgets from rising inflation.

Ms McDonald, who used to run fast food chain MCDONALD’S in the UK, has a history of blaming external factors for her firm’s performance.

Neil Wilson
Neil Wilson backed the claim that staycations could help Halfords’ profits

Last year she railed at good and bad weather for hurting Halfords.

She said wet summers in 2015 and last year hit cycle sales and a mild winter cut sales of de-icer, car bulbs and windscreen wipers.

Neil Wilson, of ETX CAPITAL, said: “Looking ahead, staycations might help, as will the focus on higher value bikes.”