Wine Cellar report shows sales losses

11 January, 2008

Wine Cellar lost £9.5 million in sales during the year to last January and its pre-tax losses deepened.

The drinks retailer's accounts show

turnover dropped to £61.1 million in the year to Jan 28 2007, compared

with £70.6 million the previous year. Pre-tax losses increased by £9,000 to £1.45 million,

In a report filed with the accounts, director Jacob Jebreel said the sale of the retailer's under-performing Wine Cellar-branded shops during 2005 and 2006 had hit overall sales, but like-for-likes were up by 5.4 per cent.

Trading performance had improved, Jebreel noted, as operating losses - which exclude interest payments and profits from asset sales - had decreased by £629,000 to £1.57 million.

Development of the

Simply Food & Drinks convenience brand helped drive growth, Jebreel added. Twenty-six branches of the convenience arm are now open.

Wine Cellar's traditional territory is England's West Midlands and north west, but it pushed out of its heartland during 2007 in a partnership with convenience specialist Martin McColl. Some 220 Martin McColl shops now have Booze Buster sections and joint branding .

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