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Record results from Majestic Wine despite challenging economy

Published:  18 June, 2012

Majestic Wine has grown sales by 8.9% to £280 million, with like-for-likes up 2.6% in the year to April 2, 2012.

Group profit before tax grew 14.5% to £23.2 million, with the company's fine wine arm Lay & Wheeler growing profit before interest and tax to £1.9 million, up from £0.7 milion last year.

The firm's three French stores also grew profits by £400,000 to £1.4 million.
The group, which opened 16 stores in the last year, and an extra three since the year end, now operates 181 overall, and is confident of expanding to 330 locations.

Customer numbers have been boosted by 11% to 568,000, and average spend per transaction has grown by £2 to £128. The number of transactions has also increased by 8.3% to 2.2 million in the past year, and the average price of a bottle of still wine bought at Majestic is up by 40p to £7.34.

Online sales increased 7.8% on last year and now represent 10% of UK retail sales, with the average transaction value online now up 1.4% to £144. Last week the firm halved its minimum delivery size to six bottles, a step designed to further boost internet sales. Businesses are increasingly buying from Majestic - its commercial arm grew sales by 6.9% to account for almost a quarter of total UK sales at 24%.

Sales of fine wine, priced at £20+, increased by 18.5% on last year, making up 6.2% of store sales in the UK.

In the 10 weeks from April 3 to June 11, 2012, UK like-for-like sales have grown by 0.6%.

The firm is also hopeful that the launch of its recent national advertising campaign will boost consumers' awareness of the brand.

Steve Lewis, Majestic chief executive, said: "Majestic has a clearly differentiated operating model, with a focus on delivering exceptional customer service that has proved resilient in a challenging economic environment."

Majestic recently scooped two awards at Harpers inaugural industry awards. It impressed judges with by talking consumers' language to scoop the Engaging the Consumer award; and also took home the gong for Best Digital/Social Media Strategy.