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Freixenet Copestick toasts boost to profits

UK wine supplier Freixenet Copestick saw operating profits rise to £6 million last year, which it attributed to the strong performance of its branded wines. 

The company, which is owned by German sparkling wine giant Henkell Freixenet, saw operating profits before amortization rise from £4.5 million to £6 million in the year ending 31 December 2021. Net profits also hit £2.805 million profits, up from £1.203 million the previous year.

Turnover at the group, which includes two subsidiaries Slurp Wine Company Jascots Wine Limited, rose from £118.5m in 2020 to £137.9m in the year to 31 December 2021 – with financial KPI’s showing turnover growth of +17 on the previous year.

The UK made up the lion’s share of the turnover, accounting for £132.49m of the total (96% market share), up from £112.0m in 2002 (94% market share) with Europe’s market share falling one percentage point, and the US’s contribution falling away completely from £38.1k last year.

Its brands, which include I heart Wines, Freixenet, and Mionetto, showed double digit growth in a UK wine sector that  declined 0.9%, the company’s directors noted in a statement posted to Companies House, added that the Group’s strength in sparkling wines was “an advantage as the nation saw more reason to celebrate than in 2020.”

The UK wine off-trade market for sparkling wines grew 9.9% over 2020.

The company said it had showed “great resilience” during the second year of Covid, noting that it would continue its hybrid working model for office staff, “as the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, particularly from an environmental point of view”, the company report said.

It also highlighted its continued support of the hospitality sector (in terms of extended credit offered to on-trade customers) as well as donations to drink’s charities that amounted to £50k with a further £12k to a charity to save the rhino, Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary.

The company also included an emissions report in its statement, showing its energy and carbon emissions, although it noted that the addition of the Jascots business in December 2020 had had a significant impact to this, due to running its fleet of delivery vehicles. The difference between 2020 and 2021 made a direct comparison very difficult, it said and made 2020 an “unsuitable year to use as a baseline”.

However, the acquisition of the premium indie on-trade wholesaler did give the group greater control across its supply chain through direct access to premium on-trade accounts across London and the UK. The strategic move complemented its acquisition of the final 40% stake in direct-to-consumer ecommerce business Slurp the same month, after the then Copestick Murray business acquired a majority stake in the online business in November 2017.

In January this year – and therefore outside the accounting period – Freixenet Copestick also acquired  English sparkling wine producer Bolney Wine Estates.

Freixenet UK and Copestick Murray merged to form one company in January 2019, following the merger of Copestick’s parent group Henkell with the Spanish Cava producer in May 2018, which formed the world’s largest sparkling wine business.

Correction: The article has been amended to clarify that it was turnover growth rather than profits before amortization that rose by 17% as originally stated. 

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