PROFITS at Halfords have edged higher after strong Christmas trading and mild weather helped bike sales jump by a fifth on a year earlier.

The car parts and bike store said its annual pre-tax profit lifted 1.1 per cent to £72.8 million, beating market expectations. Chief executive Matt Davies said children's bikes sold strongly during the festive period, while the group refreshed its premium range of bikes, some of which are designed in conjunction with Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman.

Bike sales grew 19.4 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

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