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Copestick Murray reports strong performance on back of 'iheart' and Prosecco

Published:  01 June, 2015

Copestick Murray reported turnover up 15% to £23.6m in 2014 on the strength of its leading wine and Prosecco brands, 'iHeart' wine and Mionetto.

According to accounts filed at Companies House this week, turnover was up 15% on an annual equivalent basis, which takes into account an accounting anomaly following the company's decision to change its accounting period from April to December following its acquisition by German supplier, Henkell & Co Group

However operating profits in the 12 months were hit by a substantial increase in the costs of sales. Reported profits were down from £450k in 2014 compared to £447k in the 9 months to 31 December 2013, with operating profit also down 1.92% to £583k, in the 12 months to 31 December, compared to £595k a year earlier. 

However managing director Robin Copestick told that given the increase in costs taken on over the last year, this was a good result.

"We have taken on a lot more cost after expanding our finance and sales teams, and implemented a new computer system. The net figure, given that increase cost is pleasing," he said. "The upwards trend of sales is also pleasing and will continue very strongly in 2015. I'm confident we'll see a good net profit figure in 2015."

Sales had been driven by the 'iHeart' wines nd Prosecco brand, Mionetto, which it said were among the fastest growing in their respective sectors within the UK wine market. Copestick said the 'iHeart' brand was growing strongly in both the domestic market and internationally, and was now rated one of the top 30 brands in the UK, according to Nielsen. This was "very strong" for a brand that had only been in the market for three years, he said. 

Sales of Mionetto were up 300% year-on-year, he said, albeit of a low base.

"That will continued into 2015, but our greatest problem is supply. Although it isn't a problem right now, it could be in a few months. The biggest factor is how early and how big the 2015 is," he said. " We should be ok if it if early, but we are expecting prices to increase."

The company statement said it had had a transformational year following the acquisition by Henkell (which is owned by Dr Oekter) in August 2014, and sourcing of products from companies within the Henkell Group had risen sharply.