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Shares in Halfords were up on the FTSE 250 in afternoon trading ahead of the auto-parts retailer's pre-close update, expected tomorrow.

In January the group lowered full year profit expectations in light of weak sales during the third quarter, which covers the Christmas period.

Although the cold weather in December gave a boost to car maintenance sales, these were offset by poorer leisure and bicycle sales.

Keith Bowman, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said, "Trading conditions are likely to have remained challenging, with updates from fellow retailers such as Dixons highlighting tough trading. Ahead of the update, market consensus opinion currently denotes a buy."

By 14:15 shares in Halfords were up 3.90 per cent on the FTSE 250 to 370.10 pence per share.