Majestic celebrates 20% rise in first-half profit
Wine retailer Majestic saw pre-tax profit increase by 20% to £8.8 million in the half-year to 26 September.
Total sales grew 8.7% to £127.8 million and like-for-like sales in UK retail stores rose 2.7% excluding VAT.
The company increased its base of active customers by 7.7% to 534,000 and the average spend per transaction in-store rose to £125 from £122. Sales of still wine priced at £20 per bottle and above increased by 20% and now represent 5.5% of the company’s UK retail sales.
Online sales increased 8.7% on last year and now represent 9% of UK retail sales.
The company opened eight new stores in the period in Evesham, Weston-Super-Mare, Fleet, Livingston, Hale, Dundee, Worthing and Bury St Edmunds. Since the end of the period, there have been three additional store openings in Clitheroe, Ripon and Braintree taking the total to 174.
Lay & Wheeler, the group's fine wine specialist, recorded profit before interest and tax of £292,000.
Majestic in France recorded profit before interest and tax of £658,000 compared to £574,000 in the same period in 2010.
In the six weeks from 27 September to 7 November 2011, like-for-like sales in UK stores were down 1.1% with total UK store sales up 3.8%. The company said the trading period had been adversely affected by two weeks of disappointing sales in mid-October. Total sales through UK stores over the same period were up 3.8%.
Phil Wrigley, chairman, said: “We are pleased with the results achieved in the first six months and, though the economic environment continues to be challenging, we are very well prepared for the key trading period ahead and encouraged by the initial customer response to our Christmas promotions.”
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