Profits turn sour for royal wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd

Kasmira Jefford
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BERRY Bros & Rudd’s annual results, to be released this week, are expected to show that Britain’s oldest wine merchant has slipped into the red as it battles to turn itself around.

The 314-year-old family-owned company, which is more that three years into a five-year strategic overhaul of the business, is set to report a pre-tax loss of £7.3m for the 12 months to the end of March.

This compares with a £1.4m profit the previous year.

The financial accounts, due to be filed at Companies House this week, will show that it booked around £4m of exceptional charges after a legal battle with its former wine distributor in Hong Kong.

Berry Bros is said to be spending around £25m over the course of its five-year strategy, which includes expanding its wine business in Asia and refocusing its spirits business on premium brand.