Halfords said today it was benefiting from a "resurgent" cycling market as more commuters swapped their cars for bikes to get to work.
In another sign of pressure on household budgets, the Redditch-based retailer said its car maintenance arm was performing strongly as new car sales slowed and drivers opted to keep older models on the road.
Halfords, which owns Bikehut and sells brands including Apollo and Carrera, posted an 11.5% hike in pre-tax profits for the year to March 28, with sales 7.2% stronger at £797.4 million. Sales were 4.3% higher on a like-for-like basis.
Acting joint managing director Paul McClenaghan said: "We have seen a resurgence of bicycle sales in the UK. People tend to be riding more often, both commuting and for leisure."
Halfords accounts for one in three of all bicycles sold in the UK.
There was no detail on Halfords' current trading, with management saying the business was "broadly" where it expected to be.
Halfords also said there was the potential to add another 100 stores to its near 450-strong estate in the UK and Ireland.
Halfords said the number of car and cycle repair jobs it carried out rose 13% during the past year to 1.3 million.
Car maintenance comprises around a quarter of the group's sales, with cycle sales contributing a third and the remainder coming from car enhancement products like satellite navigation systems.
Joint acting managing director Nick Wharton said: "Our strong performance in car maintenance is needs driven and gives a resilient backbone to our business."
The group's specialist cycle retailer Bikehut now has five stores operating, with a further five planned by the end of the year.
Signalling the strength of the cycle offering, Mr Wharton said there were waiting lists for some models of the new range of Boardman bikes, launched last summer by Olympic gold medal winning cyclist Chris Boardman. The models retail between £399 and £1,499.
Keith Bowman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, said Halfords results were "sturdy", and underpinned the group's defensive qualities.
He added: "The group's trusted brand name continues to generate momentum in car maintenance sales, whilst a retrenchment by UK consumers may be adding to the attractions of lower cost camping holidays, again playing into the group's hands.
"Furthermore, high fuel prices and environmental trends give weight to the company's strength in bicycle sales."
Halfords said it would open between 15 and 20 new stores in the UK and Ireland this financial year. It is also set to expand overseas this year, adding a store in Poland to the three currently operating in the Czech Republic.