In the 14 weeks to 3 January, group and like-for-like sales rose 4.6% and 1.3% respectively and helping to claw back some of the ground lost in a tough first half.
Sales for the 40 weeks to date are now down an actual 0.2% actual and by 1.2% on a like-for-like basis.
Profit guidance was unchanged at between £50mln and £55mln’
The bike and car parts seller, which has been shifting its offer from retail to services, said good product ranging allowed its stores to skip heavy or early discounts.
Cycling sales jumped by 5.9% lfl while autocentres continued its recent strong performance with a 4.6% rise.
“Halfords’ profit and loss has been hit hard, reflecting external factors, and to some degree, investment behind the new strategy,” analysts at Liberum said in a note.
“We do not think this should cloud the fact that a return to sustainable profit growth is on the horizon.”
Shares rose 6% to 154.78p on Thursday morning.