Redditch-based car and bicycle specialist Halfords impressed shareholders by surviving World Cup impact.
The group said sales were up 9.5 per cent in the 17 weeks to Friday, while like-for-like sales including a late Easter were ahead 6.6 per cent.
While this is slower than the 7.3 per cent reported in June, shares rose more than one per cent as analysts said Halfords had done well to offset the football and hot summer weather.
Mark Charnock, analyst at Investec Securities, said: "This is an excellent performance given the World Cup adversely impacted many retailers, especially those who sell to young men who are a core customer group for Halfords."
Mr Charnock left his profits f orecast untouched but admitted his estimates now looked more conservative. He wants pretax profits of £80 million in the financial year, compared with the £77 million reported earlier.
Oriel Securities said bicycles and tents sold well in the hot British weather.
"We have a (non-consensus) bullish stance on the consumer, but even we did not expect the current confidence the UK shopper is showing to extend to Halfords," said Oriel analyst Jonathan Pritchard in a research note.
Richard Ratner, analyst for Seymour Pierce, said Halfords stock had good growth potential and attractive yield.
But he warned the rest of the year may not be as productive.
"Excluding Easter, like-for-like growth to this point last year was just 2.7 per cent (compared to 6.1 per cent for the year) so the comparatives for the remainder will be more challenging," Mr Ratner said. "We remain cautious the current level of sales growth can be maintained."
He retained his outperform rating expecting pretax profit of £76.6 million and earnings per share of 23.1p for 2007.
Halfords reported an improved trend on margins, and said it had completed a refinancing of debt in July as it looked to "provide a platform for future developments".
The company operates with a non-amortising term loan of £180 million, with a revolving credit facility of £120 million.
The update came ahead of its annual meeting.
Halfords was founded as a Birmingham hardware store in 1892 by F W Rushbrooke.
In 1969 the company moved to a new head office and warehouse site in Redditch.
In June 2004, Halfords was floated on the Stock Exchange as a FTSE top 250 company.
Strong demand for bicycles and in-car technology buoyed the company. It now provides one in three UK bikes sold and is market leader in the supply of car parts and satellite navigation systems.
Halfords operates from 417 stores and has 10,000 staff.
A trading update is due on October 5.