Majestic Wine growth plans take fizz out of profits

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Wine retailer Majestic Wine today reported flat full-year profits and said this year’s earnings growth will be held back as it invests in its business.

The firm runs 206 stores and chairman Phil Wrigley said it aims to grow that figure to 330 while expanding its online presence.

He added: “The cost of these investments in the short term means that we now envisage flatter profit growth in the 2015 financial year.

“The board expects a subsequent return to further profit growth from 2016 as we benefit from our strategic investment programme.”

For the year to 31 March, Majestic posted a pre-tax profit of £23.8 million, up from £23.7m a year earlier. Total sales rose 1.4 per cent to £278.2m, helped by the opening of 13 stores.

Like-for-like sales, which strip out the effect of new selling space, dipped 0.1 per cent in the UK.

Chief executive Steve Lewis said: “Majestic made good operational progress in the last year and despite the difficult trading environment delivered a solid performance.”

Majestic proposed a final dividend of 11.8p a share, to be paid on 15 August.