Majestic Retail records 7.5% like-for-like increase in Christmas sales

Majestic Wine saw like-for-like sales of 7.5% in its retail division in the 10 weeks to January 2.

Overall retail sales were up 6.2% with group sales 15.3% up on the same period a year ago.

Gross margins dropped 1% as a result of spend to acquire new customers and “the need to remain competitive in a heavily discounted UK market still coming to terms with recent currency movements,” said the company in a trading update.

Fine wine arm Lay & Wheeler continued its recent improvement with a 62.3% increase in sales and Majestic Commercial was in line with expectations in recording a 0.8% decline.

Naked Wines was ahead by just shy of 30%.

Full year profit forecasts remain in line with market expectations, the company said.

Chief executive Rowan Gormley added: “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 in long-term margin expectations but we need to retain flexibility to compete in a competitive market.

“He said the figures were “a tribute to the hard work that our people put in”.