(Corrects to use sales figures on a like-for-like basis)
LONDON Jan 16 Bicycles-to-car-parts group Halfords said it had enjoyed robust trading over the Christmas period, with the mild weather boosting demand for bikes, helping it to post a rise in third quarter sales.
The group, which is in the early stages of a 100 million pound ($163.5 million) three-year turnaround plan, said on Thursday retail sales at stores open over a year rose 5.9 percent in the 15 weeks to Jan. 10, its fiscal third quarter.
That was below strong first half growth of 7.7 percent but ahead of an average analyst forecast for 3.8 percent, according to a Reuters poll.
Like-for-like sales at its Autocentres arm were up 0.1 percent.
Shares in Halfords, which posted a better-than-expected rise in first half profit in November, are up 40 percent in a year as its boss Matt Davies pushes a turnaround focused on investment in staff training, new cycling ranges, store revamps and online. ($1 = 0.6116 British pounds) (Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by James Davey)