MAJESTIC Wine today posted a 4% increase in half-year profits despite the washout summer ruining a large number of outdoor events.

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The wine merchant, which has 189 stores and generates around 10% of retail business online, said the improvement to £9.2 million for the six months to October 1 demonstrated the resilience of the business.

Sales through the store network grew by 4.7% to £108.7 million, with the figure when excluding changes in store space up by 0.6%. In the six weeks since then, like-for-like sales have risen by 1.2%.

Majestic said: “During the summer sales were adversely affected by unseasonable weather that resulted in the cancellation of a large number of outdoor events.”

It saw an 11% increase in the number of customers on its database who have made a purchase in the last 12 months and said average spend per transaction was up by £1 to £126. The average bottle price of still wine purchased at Majestic is now £7.46, up from £7.13 a year earlier.

Chairman Phil Wrigley said: “We recognise that the environment in which we operate is likely to remain challenging.

“We are most encouraged by the number of new customers attracted to Majestic and we are well prepared for the very important Christmas trading period.”

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