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Majestic toast higher profits

Published:  17 November, 2009

The decision to cut its minimum order to six bottles has paid off for Majestic Wine as first half results show pre-tax profits are up 9% to £6.1m in the six months to the end of September.

Majestic has also seen demand from customers trading up to buy more expensive wines to drink at home amid the recession.

Sales of wines costing at least £20 a bottle have soared 14.4%, pushing up the average price from £6.19 to £6.41.

Chief executive Steve Lewis said: "People are keeping and eye on their finances but instead of going out as much they are more prepared to trade up to a better bottle of wine to drink at home.

"Many people are also still buying 12-bottle purchases and people buying six-bottle cases tend to add on a few extra bottles anyway."

Like-for-like sales rose 5.4% at UK stores during the first half, customer sales also rose 8.9% while corporate sales dropped 6.9%.