January 15, 2013 / 7:26 AM / 5 years ago

Halfords raises full-year profit expectations

* Group lfl +1.0 pct for 15 weeks to Jan. 11

* Group total revenue up 1.6 pct

* Group FY pretax profit range upgraded to 68-72 mln stg

LONDON, Jan 15 (Reuters) - British bicycles-to-car-parts group Halfords edged up its profit expectations for the full-year after enjoying healthy sales in car maintenance and top bike ranges in the Christmas quarter.

The firm, which trades from over 460 Halfords stores in the UK and Ireland as well as over 260 Autocentres, said on Tuesday sales at stores open over a year rose 1.0 percent in the 15 weeks to Jan. 11, its fiscal third quarter.

The group, which is to begin hosting driving tests from its sites in England next month, said its retail revenue performance meant it would upgrade its pretax profit guidance range for the year to March 2013 to 68-72 million pounds ($115.68 million), up from a previous range of 66-70 million.

The sales rise is however a sharp slowdown on a 5.6 percent hike in its second quarter, when Britain's cycling success in the Tour de France and London Olympics sparked big demand for bikes and helped the firm put a poor start to the year behind it.

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