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Shares in Halfords were up on the FTSE 250 in morning trading after the retailer reported a rise in revenue and pre-tax profit in the full year ended 1 April.

Revenue was reported as rising 4.6 per cent to £869.7 million, while underlying pre-tax profit increased 7.2 per cent to £125.6 million.

The group also managed to cut its net debt by a third to £103.2 million, while total dividends were up 10 per cent to 22.0 pence per share.

During the year the group said it had returned around £20.7 million in cash to shareholders through a planned £75 million share buyback programme.

The first full year of trading for the group's Autocentres saw the centres rebranded and relaunched, leading to a "positive sales uplift".

Since the end of the full year period Halfords said its retail business had seen a rise in like for like sales of 0.8 per cent, while the Autocentres reported a like for like sales rise of 1.2 per cent.

David Wild, Chief Executive of Halfords, "This has been a challenging year for customers. Nonetheless we have increased profits through a clear focus on costs and margins. The Group has also made significant operational progress through the successful completion of change initiatives, including reconfiguration of the Group's warehouses and distribution network, remodelling staffing structures and the rebranding and relaunch of our Autocentres business.

"Although these initiatives were achieved at some impact on sales during the transition period, they have enhanced customer service, reduced costs and provide a strong platform for our next phase of growth.

"We are pleased with the positive trend in early weeks' sales that benefited from good weather and the late Easter. While the tough trading environment is likely to continue, we seek to build on this momentum through our clear strategy that delivers value for customers by a combination of great prices, expert service and innovative products with appropriate margin investment."

By 08:35 shares in Halfords were up 2.99 per cent on the FTSE 250 to 409.70 pence per share.