The Watford-based company’s 1.1 per cent like-for-like sales growth over the 10-week Christmas period was a heavy decline on its 2.8 per cent growth over the six months to the end of September.
It also required the company to slash profit margins to compete with discounting from the country’s main supermarkets.
Chief executive Steve Lewis said in a trading update that the wine merchant had experienced a “difficult Christmas trading period characterised by promotional activity.
“We anticipate this competitive pricing environment will continue throughout much of 2015”, he added.
City analysts subsequently cut their profit forecasts for the company.