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Mixed Christmas for Majestic Wine

The core UK retail arm increased sales by 1.3% like-for like, well down on a very strong previous year

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UK sales slowed after a bumper 2016

Wine retailer Majestic Wine PLC (LON:MJW) battled through what it described as tough conditions.over Christmas with higher sales and steady profit margins.

Revenue rose by 3.2% in the ten weeks to January 1 and by an underlying 4.1% as Naked Wine, Majestic’s business that funds independent wine makers, performed strongly.

READ: Majestic Wine is the toast of the town as profits soar in first half

Sales here jumped by 13% as Australia and the US did especially well.

The core UK retail arm increased sales by 1.3% like-for like, well down on a very strong previous year when like-for-like sales rose by 6.2%.

The commercial arm and fine wine specialist Lay & Wheeler both saw sales drop by about 5%.

READ: Majestic Wine swings to a full year loss and warns on Brexit as chairman steps down

Being able to increase sales and hold margins showed Majestic had a winning formula even when trading was tricky said Rowan Gormley, chief executive.

 “We are on track to achieve our £500m sales goal by 2019, on track to deliver market expectations for the current financial year, and on track to accelerate investment in new customers, new winemakers and more fantastic wines," he added.

Shares were flat at 457.5p.

Quick facts: Majestic Wine PLC

Price: 257.5 GBX

AIM:WINE
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £187.53 m
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