UK wine specialist Majestic Wine has seen pre-tax profit rise 2.1 per cent to £23.7 million in its full year despite a total sales fall, figures released today reveal.
In the 52 weeks ended April 1st 2013, total sales dipped 2.1 per cent to £274.4 million as the retailer managed a reduction in its wholesale arm, which saw sales fall a staggering 68.6 per cent to £5.8 million.
Underlying sales excluding wholesale grew 2.6 per cent over the period to £268.6 million while UK like-for-like sales rose one per cent.
Over the past 12 months, customer numbers jumped 9.85 per cent to 624,000 while average spend per transaction remained flat at £128.
Online sales fared well over the period, up 14.7 per cent on the same period last year, now representing 11.1 per cent of UK retail sales while fine wine sales also grew over the year.
Priced at £20 per bottle and above, fine wine sales ju8mped 9.4 per cent on last year, representing 6.5 per cent of UK store sales.while Majestic noted a “significant increase” in sales of English sparkling wine.
Over the year, Majestic opened 16 new stores in the UK while its operations in Calais saw profit before interest and tax reach £1.6 million, up 14.3 per cent on last year.
Looking ahead, the retailer noted that current trading is “in line with expectations” and that it is well placed to deliver strong results in the key Summer trading period.
Majestic Wine CEO Steve Lewis said: “Majestic is in excellent shape and has made good progress with the four key elements of our future growth strategy: new stores, business customers, e-commerce and fine wine.”