200% increase in English wine sales boost Majestic profits
- Tuesday 18 June 2013
Majestic said a 200% increase in revenues from English fizz, as well as buoyant sales of Prosecco and still wines from the Rhône, Argentina, Italy and Spain, helped lift pre-tax profits by 2.2% to £23.7m in the year ending 1 April.
The company reduced its minimum online purchase to six bottles last June, and this helped lift online revenues 15%, meaning that more than 11% of its revenues now come via the internet.
Meanwhile, sales of fine wine (priced at £20-plus per bottle) rose 9.4%, now accounting for 6.5% of UK retail sales.
Total group sales fell 2.1% to £274.4m, thanks to a 69% slump in wholesale revenues, with the company deliberately reducing its wholesale activity to focus on on-trade customers.
Underlying sales growth excluding wholesale was 4.2% for the year, with the average spend per transaction flat at £128 and the average bottle of still wine sold for £7.56, up from £7.34 in 2012.
Majestic, which has 193 stores across the UK and in Calais, said it remained ‘confident’ in its long-term aim of opening 330 stores.
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, e-commerce and fine wine.’
But chairman Phil Wrigley added a note of caution, pointing out that the new financial year had begun slowly, thanks to the earlier timing of Easter and the boost given last year by the Jubilee celebrations.