Belfast Telegraph

Majestic Wine toasts best Christmas performance after difficult spell

Majestic Wine has notched up its best ever Christmas trading figures as boss Rowan Gormley presses ahead with a transformation plan following a difficult six months.

The warehouse wine retailer said like-for-like sales rose 7.5% in the 10 weeks to January 2, an increase on the 7.3% increase it recorded last year.

Total sales were up 12.4% during the period, with Majestic saying it is on track to meet full year expectations.

Mr Gormley said: "Our transformation plan is working and we remain on track to achieve our £500 million sales goal. We said that we would be better prepared for Christmas than ever - and the numbers show that we did what we said we would do.

"At this stage we are not predicting a change to long-term margin expectations, but we need to retain flexibility to compete in a competitive market."

Majestic Wine swung into the red in November, racking up half-year losses of £4.4 million, but said it was at a "tipping point" in its return to profit growth.

The company has embarked on a three-year turnaround plan aimed at expanding and retaining its customer base, slowing down branch network expansion, and acquiring new customers for Naked Wines.

Wayne Brown, analyst at Liberum, said: " A very strong update from Majestic Wine has provided us with confidence to leave forecasts unchanged. The shares have relatively underperformed the wider sector by 27.4% the last six months, reflecting the markets rather pessimistic view on full year outturn. Today's update should now help quell these concerns."

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