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Majestic posts positive figures

Majestic has confirmed a profit increase of 9% and like-for-like sales rise of 5.4% in the company’s half-year results, ending 28 September.

"I am pleased that in the half year Majestic has achieved profit growth of 9%. It is encouraging that in the current economic conditions our loyal customers continue to find the Majestic proposition compelling,” said chief executive Steve Lewis.

Even though the multiple retailer has witnessed a reduction in average spend, it says that this has been "more than compensated by an increase in transaction volume. We have also seen an increase in the number of new customers registering on our database," which is demonstrated by the 24.6% increase in the company’s online sales.

Other highlights from the report included the increase in sales of wine priced at £20+ per bottle, which is 14.4% up on last year and which now represents 4.4% of the store’s retail sales.  

Majestic’s sales, which were up £12.6 million to £106.7m (2008: £94.1m) take into account the £6m from Lay & Wheeler, the fine wine specialist which it acquired in March this year.

Talking of its acquisition of Lay & Wheeler, Majestic confirmed the relationship between the two store names and explanation to consumers of the end result was still work-in-progress.

"We are pleased with the progress made in integrating Lay & Wheeler into the Majestic Group, resulting in cost savings and a refocused sales proposition.

"We have introduced the brand to selected Majestic customers and will be developing this relationship in the coming months. Trading at Lay & Wheeler has been in line with our expectations."

The average price of a bottle of wine at Majestic is now £6.41 compared to £6.19 last year while the average transaction spend is £133 (2008: £135).

Jane Parkinson, 16.11.2009

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