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Kingsland results impacted by rising duty

Published:  09 April, 2015

Kingsland Wines and Spirits reported "satisfactory" results last year, despite a fall in wine volume sales and the impact of rising duty.

Trading for 2013/4 saw tough market conditions, aggressive competitor pressures and continued economic uncertainty, but the wine packaging company said business had been "satisfactory", in accounts filed at Companies House.

Total sales revenue including duty rose 2.6% to £165.1m, versus growth of 0.2% the previous year, but the company admitted revenue was adversely affected by the 2.5% increase in duty in March 2014.

Operating profit rose 12.5% to £3.358m compared to £2.986m the previous year, but wine volumes sales fell 5.2% overall. Kingsland attributed this to contract production declines and weaker performance within the major multiples.

The directors said they were satisfied with this performance given the difficult trading conditions. "There has been turbulence in the multiple retail grocery segment caused by changes in shopping habits and the impact of continental discounters. The company has been working to mitigate these factors by looking to develop new businesses."

The drink group, which was formerly known as FE Barber Limited, has invested in its marketing as well as enhancing its manufacturing and logistics facilities. In February it announced a new deal with Marks & Spencer who will use a UK firm for its New World bulk wine bottling, for the first time and last month the company rolled out its new insight tool, which is central to its bid to offer customers a one-stop wine solution.

Marketing director Neil Anderson told Harpers it would continue to invest "significantly" in the business.

The business, which was founded more than 50 years ago, focusses on UK filling, packaging and bulk wine shipping. It developed its Legacy Wines agency business after purchasing assets from Stratford Wine Agency in 2012, but incorporated it into the wider Kingsland business last year as part of a simplification of its offer.