More Bargain Booze stores planned in Scotmid tie-up

BARGAIN Booze owner Conviviality Retail is looking to expand its tie-up with Scotmid after toasting a rise in annual profits.
Bargain Booze: Scotmid tie-up. Picture: Greg MacveanBargain Booze: Scotmid tie-up. Picture: Greg Macvean
Bargain Booze: Scotmid tie-up. Picture: Greg Macvean

The firm, which also owns the Wine Rack brand, said a trial with the mutual retailer for it to become the exclusive Scottish franchisee for Bargain Booze was showing “positive early signs”.

Having already opened stores in Stevenston, North Ayrshire, and Annan in Dumfries & Galloway, Conviviality said further outlets will be rolled out north of the Border this month.

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The update came as the group, which has 624 stores, posted a 4.4 per cent rise in pre-tax profits before one-off items to £9.7 million for the year to 26 April, on revenues 2.4 per cent higher at £364.1m.

Chief executive Diana Hunter said: “This is a strong set of results reflecting the hard work of our employees, franchisees and suppliers. Franchisees will remain at the heart of our business, as we continue to work together to blend the entrepreneurial skill of the franchisee with the branding, ranging and wholesale expertise of Conviviality. The board looks to the future with confidence.”

Expansion during the year saw the acquisition of 31 Rhythm & Booze stores. As well as in Scotland, the group is targeting growth opportunities in Yorkshire and the north-east and south-west of England.

The board proposed a 5 per cent rise in the final dividend to 6.3p, to be paid on 9 October.

Shares in the Aim-quoted firm were suspended last week after it confirmed it was in talks to buy drinks wholesaler Matthew Clark. No updates on the proposed reverse takeover were given yesterday, but Hunter said the company, which floated two years ago, planned to “further leverage our wholesale capability into new markets”.

She added: “As wholesaler to our franchisees we have built strong relationships with our suppliers and understand the dynamics of this market.”