Euro takes toll on Majestic

15 June, 2009

Corporate sales and the impact of the Euro on its French business led to a 55.8% drop in pre-tax profit at Majestic, to £7.4 million, in the year to the end of March.

Majestic said sales to private customers in the UK had “held up well”, but the strength of the Euro had discouraged customers from travelling to France, seriously impacting its business there.

Total sales increased 2.4% to £201.8 million, with underlying profit before tax down 22.3% to £12.7 million.

UK like-for-like wines sales were up 2% and online sales were ahead by 16%.

The average price paid for a bottle of wine in Majestic broke the £6 barrier to stand at £6.35.

Chairman Simon Burke said: “While short-term performance has been affected by wider market conditions, we are confident that the business remains well-positioned and that we will be able to capitalise on our underlying strengths as the economic backdrop improves.”

Majestic reported “encouraging” sales at Lay & Wheeler, the fine wine specialist bought in March, and said good progress was being made with its integration.

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