Bargain Booze owner toasts rise in profit

Conviviality Retail, the firm behind the Bargain Booze chain currently being piloted in Scotland, yesterday said profits were likely to come in slightly ahead of expectations despite heavy discounting by rivals.

Diana Hunter said changes had resulted in 'solid progress'. Picture: Contributed

The group, which also operates franchised stories under the Wine Rack brand, said revenues in the year to 26 April are expected to be some £11 million above last year at about £364m.

Conviviality said it was seeing the benefits of a focus on helping franchisees develop their stores and the use of more social media and digital marketing.

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In April, the retailer also launched a pilot “click and collect” service to enable customers to place orders.

Chief executive Diana Hunter said it had been a year of “solid progress”. She said: “The significant changes we have implemented over the last two years ensure we are well positioned to drive growth into the business and the board looks to the future with confidence.”

Analyst John Wilson of Zeus Capital said the figures showed the benefit of “continued investment in infrastructure and revitalisation” of its brands.

Alongside yesterday’s trading update, Conviviality said that former Sainsbury’s operations director Ian Jones had joined the retailer’s board as a non-executive director.

Conviviality operates some 600 stores in England and Wales and in November announced a deal with mutual chain Scotmid for it to become the exclusive Scottish franchisee for Bargain Booze under a trial.