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Buckfast tonic wine hits record £43.2m sales high

The monks at Buckfast Abbey made rather a lot of bang for their buckie after J Chandler & Co, the company which distributes the tonic wine, reported record sales of £43.2 million in the year ending March 2017.

J Chandler & Company filed its accounts for the year ending 31 March 2017 on 5 January 2018.

Sales of the controversial tonic wine Buckfast, affectionately known as ‘buckie’, increased from £41.9 million to £43.2 million, a rise of 3.08%.

Despite the record figure, the sales increase was down on the 15.4% rise reported over the same period in the previous year, something the company says was predicted in last year’s strategic report.

J Chandler and Co also reported that its pre-tax profits rise by more than £750,000 to £4.3 million.

In the report J Chandler director Jonathan Sharp added: “The results for the year and the financial position at the year-end were considered satisfactory by the directors who expect relative stability of sales in the future.

“The company expects moderately increased underlying turnover during the year 2017/18 although profits will continue to be affected by the worsening exchange rate with the Euro following Brexit.

“The largest uncertainty concerns the change in wine prices going forward, and the effect of any consequential price.

“To mitigate these risks, the company has continued to concentrate on purchasing high quality materials at competitive prices to maintain and enhance the quality of the finished product”.

The accounts also revealed that the company donated a total of £106,500 to charity, including £20,000 to Macmillan Cancer Support and £15,000 to the Guide Dogs. The accounts can be viewed in full here. 

Despite its success, Buckfast’s reputation is frequently tarnished by its association with violence and antisocial behaviour – an article in the Telegraph dated April 2017 stated that it had been associated with 6,500 reports of such behaviour in the last two years.

It has been produced by Benedictine monks based at Buckfast Abbey in Devon since in the 1920s. In 2011, the abbey opened its new winery.

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