Matthew Clark hails sparkling end to ’14

Sparkling wine and an online ordering platform helped one of the UK’s largest on-trade drink suppliers Matthew Clark to enjoy a record-breaking Christmas.

matthew clarkDecember sales broke £100 million, the biggest ever month for Matthew Clark. Much of this business came through the company’s online ordering system, where sales rose by 45% on the same period last year.

With total wine sales rising by 3%, much of this growth came from the premium end of the wholesaler’s portfolio. The company saw a 24.06% increase in wine sales to “boutique” hotels, while Champagne sales to the “quality local” sector rose by 37.8% on last year.

Overall there was a strong performance from sparkling wine, whose year-on-year volume sales rose by 20%. Within this category, Matthew Clark reported a 7% uplift in Champagne sales and, in line with the wider buoyant fortunes of Prosecco, sales of this Italian fizz grew by 43%.

English wine also proved popular, with Matthew Clark recording a 58% rise in sales of this domestic product, boosted by partnerships between the distributor and a number of English wineries such as Chapel Down. Argentina provided another success story, with sales growing by 18%.

The news followed an upbeat report released last week by CGA Peach, which suggested that in general the UK’s on-trade outlets enjoyed a better Christmas than the off-trade. Even so Matthew Clark outperformed this index in some areas, achieving 13.3% year-on-year growth within the London region compared to the CGA Peach wider on-trade rise of 4.4%.

Describing the company as “delighted” by these results, Matthew Clark’s commercial director Ian Smith suggested that the performance reflected its “ongoing commitment in supporting the on-trade and delivering quality and exceptional service to all our customers.”

In particular, he noted: “Our dedication to developing our online ordering platform in line with customer needs is reflected in the very pleasing sales figures through this channel. Our wine-buying team works hard to source high quality wines from around the world, which is reflected in our successes with both premium wines and customer segments.”

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