Majestic posts slight profit rise

Majestic has posted a dip in annual sales after scaling back its wholesale operation but recorded a slight rise in annual profits.

Pre-tax profits for the year to April 1 hit £23.7 million, up £500,000 from the previous year.

Majestic said growth was driven by a strong performance from English sparkling wine, with sales in this category up 200%.

Nyetimber Classic Cuvée, retailing at £27.99, was the most popular.

Total sales decreased 2.1% to £274.4 million, driven down by the “managed reduction” in its wholesale trade, although like-for-like sales at its UK stores crept up 1%.

The average price of a bottle of still wine bought from the 193-strong chain last year rose to £7.56 from £7.34, while the average spend per transaction remained at £128.

The single bestseller was the Ned Black Label Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, priced at £6.99.

Customer numbers rose by 56,000 to 624,000, and sales of fine wine priced at £20 and above increased 9.4%.

Online sales increased 14.7% on last year and now represent 11.1% of UK retail sales

Chairman Phil Wrigley said: “Majestic is trading in line with our expectations, though as anticipated the year has started slowly reflecting the timing of Easter and the boost given to last year from the Jubilee celebrations.

“The business in excellent shape and well placed to maximise sales over the important summer trading period.”

Majestic opened 16 new stores in the past year and said it remains confident of growing the chain to 330 outlets. 

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