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Majestic unveils 117% pre-tax profit

Wine retailer Majestic is to roll out fine wine displays to all its stores after a surge in sales boosted full-year underlying profits by 26%.

The company posted a pre-tax profit for the year to the end of March of £16m, compared to £7.4m in 2009, an increase of 117%.

Total sales were up 15.6% to £233.2m, with like-for-like sales rising 8.4%.

Majesitc is also aiming to expand its 153-store roster to 250, taking advantage of more opportunities to open new sites.

The figures were boosted by strong demand for New World wine, particularly New Zealand, Chile, Argentina and South Africa, as well as continued rises in sparkling wine sales.

The company’s reduction of minimum purchases from 12 to six bottles increased the number of customers by 13%, while the average purchase price rose to £6.56 from £6.35.

Fine wine sales (defined as £20-plus per bottle) were up 22.7%, prompting Majestic to announce a roll-out of fine wine displays to all its stores over the next two years.

New acquisition Lay & Wheeler contributed sales of £12.4m, with initial demand for the much-hyped Bordeaux 2009 vintage described as ‘encouraging’.

Majestic will also launch The Majestic Tasting later this year – seasonal, in-store tasting events to introduce new wines.

‘We are very encouraged by our ability to attract new customers, which will allow us to continue to grow our market share,’ said chief executive Steve Lewis.

‘While the UK economic outlook remains uncertain, we believe that Majestic is well positioned for future growth.’

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Written by Richard Woodard

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