January 9, 2018 / 7:16 AM / 2 years ago

Britain's Majestic Wine sales rise in Christmas season

A general view of a Majestic Wine Warehouse in Cheadle Hulme, Stockport, north-west England on June 13, 2015. Majestic Wine says their full year pretax profit fell 22.5 pct to 18.4 million pounds. REUTERS/Andrew Yates

(Reuters) - British wine retailer Majestic Wine Plc said underlying sales in the Christmas season grew 4.1 percent and added it was on track to meet full-year expectations.

Sales at the Naked Wine business, which Majestic acquired in April 2015, rose 13 percent on a constant currency basis for the 10-week Christmas trading period ended Jan. 1.

Majestic has 210 wine warehouses across the UK as well as two branches in France, while Naked Wines operates across the United States, Britain and Australia.

However, sales at Majestic Commercial, which supplies wines to pubs and restaurants, fell 4.6 percent.

The company has been struggling due to mounting competition from discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl UK and online rivals offering cheaper wines.

Majestic, which logs about 30 percent of its annual sales in the Christmas period, said it was on track to achieve 500 million pounds sales goal by 2019.

The company said it would also accelerate sales growth in the medium term by increasing its investment in new customer acquisitions.

Reporting by Radhika Rukmangadhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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