A boom in bike sales has helped UK retailer Halfords to navigate the spring and summer months with flying colours.
The automotive and cycling products retailer managed to double its pre-tax profit compared with the previous year, posting a figure of £55.4 million ($72.6 million/€61 million) for the 26 weeks to October 2.
This was on revenue up less than 10 per cent at £638.9 million ($837 million/€702.8 million).
The group acquired Boardman Bikes, the business co-founded in 2007 by Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman, some six years ago.
Boardman models accordingly have a prominent place in the brands Halfords sells.
Halfords said cycling sales were up 54.4 per cent from the previous year on a like-for-like basis, with e-mobility products ahead an eye-popping 184 per cent.
Though stock had been "limited at times", the company said it had "managed to keep a steady flow of bikes and accessories available to customers".
It had "identified early the unprecedented level of demand for our products and services and worked hard to secure more stock from existing suppliers, as well as sourcing new brands and products from new suppliers and different countries".
Bicycles have been noticeably increasing on British roads during the COVID-19 pandemic, with households seemingly viewing them as a pleasant and inexpensive means of taking exercise and getting out in the fresh air.
They are also a convenient alternative for commuters who may be wary of using public transport under current circumstances.
Boardman won the gold medal in the men’s individual pursuit at the Barcelona Olympics 28 years ago.
His achievement marked the beginning of an era of extraordinary success for British cyclists, both at the Olympics and Paralympics, and the best-known road races such as the Tour de France.