UK: Majestic Wines raises a glass to increased profits

The new Majestic Wine store in Northern Road, Sudbury

The new Majestic Wine store in Northern Road, Sudbury - Credit: Archant

Wine merchant Majestic posted a small rise in profits today after a year in which it said sales of English sparkling wine showed a significant increase.

The retailer, which has plans to grow its 193-strong store estate to around 330 locations in the UK, posted pre-tax profits of £23.7million for the year to April 1, an increase of £500,000 on a year earlier.

Sales of still wines from the Rhone, Argentina, Italy and Spain showed good growth, while Majestic also reported a big jump in sales of sparkling wine from English vineyards.

Total sales were down 2.1% to £274.4m in the year, reflecting a cut in its exposure to the wholesale drinks market and last summer’s unseasonable weather, which caused the cancellation of a large number of outdoor events.

But the number of customers who made purchases in the year still rose by 56,000 on a year earlier to 624,000, while the average spend per transaction remained level at £128. The average bottle price on still wine rose to £7.56.

Chief executive 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, ecommerce and fine wine.”

Majestic Wine opened 16 new stores during the year, at locations including Sudbury and King’s Lynn in East Anglia, plus others in Northallerton, Esher, Edinburgh, Witney, Basingstoke, Falmouth, Stroud, Ludlow, Uttoxeter, Alton, Lymington, Dorking, Crawley and Gerrards Cross.