Jan 10 (Reuters) - Majestic Wine Plc :
* Christmas trading statement
* Group sales up 15.3 pct - on track to be in line with full year expectations
* Group sales for 10 week christmas trading period ending 2 January 2017 increased by 15.3 pct versus same period in prior year
* On an underlying basis increase was 12.4 pct.
* Group delivers c.30 pct of total annual sales during christmas trading period.
* Majestic retail had its biggest ever christmas with like for like sales up 7.5 pct, on top of 7.3 pct like for like growth in christmas last year
* Approximately 0.5 pct of growth was one-off due to transfer of sales from closed stores.
* Group’s gross margin percentage was around 1 percentage point lower, versus same period in prior year
* Our maintained focus on cost control means that profits are expected to be in line with market expectations.
* “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”
* Both Naked Wines and Majestic Commercial traded in line with expectations and Lay & Wheeler has maintained its strong growth. Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Bengaluru Newsroom: +91 80 6749 1136)