Majestic Wine has notched up its best ever Christmas trading figures as chief executive Rowan Gormley presses ahead with a transformation plan following a difficult six months.
The warehouse wine retailer said like-for-like sales rose 7.5 per cent in the ten weeks to 2 January, an increase on the 7.3 per cent increase it recorded last year.
Total sales were up 12.4 per cent during the period, with Majestic saying it was on track to meet full-year expectations.
Gormley said: “Our transformation plan is working and we remain on track to achieve our £500 million sales goal. We said that we would be better prepared for Christmas than ever – and the numbers show that we did what we said we would do.
“At this stage we are not predicting a change to long-term margin expectations, but we need to retain flexibility to compete in a competitive market.”
Majestic Wine swung into the red in November, racking up half-year losses of £4.4m, but said it was at a “tipping point” in its return to profit growth.
The company has embarked on a three-year turnaround plan aimed at expanding and retaining its customer base, slowing down branch network expansion, and acquiring new customers for its Naked Wines online operation.
Wayne Brown, analyst at Liberum, said: “A very strong update from Majestic Wine has provided us with confidence to leave forecasts unchanged. The shares have relatively underperformed the wider sector by 27.4 per cent the last six months, reflecting the markets rather pessimistic view on full year outturn. Today’s update should now help quell these concerns.”