THE NATION’S continuing love affair with prosecco and Argentinian malbec helped lift Majestic Wine’s profits in the first half of the year.
Italian sparkling wine sales surged by 39 per cent in the six months to 30 September as total sales rose 3.3 per cent to £130.2m, the wine retailer said yesterday.
“Walk down any fashionable street you see people with ice buckets and prosecco,” chief executive Steve Lewis said. “Sales of malbec also increased 40 per cent as increasingly consumers realise it’s good value wine for money.”
Group profit before tax increased by four per cent to £9.5m.
However, like-for-like sales fell by 0.4 per cent, which he blamed on the timing of Easter and the boost from the Jubilee celebrations a year ago.
Majestic said like-for-like sales in the 17 weeks from 4 June – after the difficult comparatives – were “a more representative” three per cent higher.
Lewis said expansion plans were on track, with six stores opened during the period and since the end of September, bringing its total estate to 198.