Majestic Wine Reveals Strong Annual Sales Rise

Majestic Wine has reported a 41.3% rise in annual sales, boosted by acquisitions and improved underlying performance in its retail stores.

For the year to 28 March 2016, group sales hit £402.1m following the takeover of online rival Naked Wines. However, pre-tax profit slipped 74.5% to £4.7m due to costs relating to the deal.

Excluding the impact of Naked Wines, underlying sales rose 6.2% following a 4.8% increase in like-for-like sales at Majestic Retail – the first positive performance in four years.

At Naked Wines, sales jumped 27.3% to £104.3m on a pro-forma basis, driven by strong growth in the US.

The group said that it was on track to deliver sales of £500m by 2019 with “good progress” being made in the first year of its three-year transformation plan and new KPIs heading the right way.

Rowan Gormley, Group Chief Executive, commented: “We have taken the first step on a long journey – it was a good start but it is just the first step.

“Early signs are that the plan is starting to work. Strong sales figures reflect the hard work being done on the ground by the whole team.”

He added that trading conditions “remain tough” in the UK, pointing to volatile currency movements pushing up costs and the “complex” implementation of a new supply chain and IT system.

“We still have lots to do and although we are on course to deliver our three year plan, it won’t be without challenges,” he said.