UK wine specialist Majestic Wine has reported a profit rise of 3.9 per cent to £9.2 million in its first half, results released today reveal.
For the 26 weeks ended October 1st 2012, total like-for-likes (LFLs) in UK retail stores grew 0.6 per cent while the number of active customers shot up 11.2 per cent to 594,000.
As the retailer manages a reduction in its wholesale trade, which fell nearly 70 per cent to £3.2 million, sales excluding wholesale activities increased 4.6 per cent to £122.7 million over the period.
Online sales have seen a strong rise on last year as the specialist focuses on multichannel growth and, compared with the same half period last year, have rocketed 14 per cent and now represent 9.8 per cent of UK retail sales.
Bricks and mortar expansion is also a key area of interest for the company which now operates from 189 stores, having opened nine new stores in the period and two since the end of September.
In recent years, specialist wine merchants have fought hard to fend off competition from supermarkets which have sought to build their ranges, with grocer Asda recently announcing plans to introduce a new alcohol product range having teamed up with Leiths School of Food and Wine in London.
Despite working within an increasingly crowded market, in the six weeks from October 2nd 2012 to November 12th, Majestic’s UK LFLs have surged 1.2 per cent and Steve Lewis, Majestic Wines CEO, believes these firm results emphasise the strength of its offering.
He commented:“These results, achieved in a challenging economic environment and the wettest summer on record, display the resilience of the Majestic business.
“I am pleased that so many new customers are choosing to shop with Majestic.”