A strong Christmas boosted half-year results for drinks company Conviviality Retail.
The 27 weeks to November 1 2015 saw a marked improvement for the retailer on previous results. Pre-tax profit before exceptionals rose to 2.8%, reaching £3.3m. This was despite a like-for-like decline of 1.3%, which itself marked an improvement from the same period last year.
While sales from Conviviality’s empire rose 0.8% during the period, when including the performance of the recently acquired drinks supplier Matthew Clarke during the same weeks, revenue in fact jumped 38%, reaching £252m.
“This is a strong set of results during a period of significant transformational change,” said Chief Executive of Conviviality Diana Hunter. “With Matthew Clark we now have a firm foundation in the expansive on-trade market from which to build on, and our success over the important Christmas period gives us confidence that the second half will deliver further growth.”
Much of this growth came from strong Christmas sales. During the two peak Christmas weeks, Wine Rack saw an 11.1% increase in like for like sales and a 13% jump in group sales. It is estimated that four bottles of Prosecco were sold every minute in the two weeks to January 3rd, whilst premium ale sales leapt up by 300%, and cases of craft ale 218%.
Although positive, these results come on the back of a debt of £98.5m, up from £1.2m net cash the previous year, generated by the Matthew Clark acquisition
“I am pleased with the progress we have made to bring our two businesses together,” Hunter continued. “I would like to thank all of our people, our franchisees, our on trade customers and our suppliers who have contributed to our success.”