Majestic Wine's annual profit falls 22.5%

Majestic Wine

Majestic Wine reported a 22.5% drop in annual pre-tax profit to £18.4m, in a "challenging" year.

The specialist wine retailer said that the drop reflects charges related to its takeover of smaller online rival Naked Wines.

Sales rose 2.3% from the year before, to £284.5m.

Majestic Wine's chairman said: "Despite the challenging backdrop of a fiercely competitive environment we continued to grow market share".

The founder of Naked Wines, Rowan Gormley, took over as chief executive of the combined company in April.

Mr Gormley said in a statement: "Whilst my review of the business is ongoing it is obvious that we need to make investments to reinvigorate Majestic Wine.

"These investments will initially suppress profit in the short term but I am confident we can rebuild momentum in this excellent business."

'Good ideas'

The combination of Majestic and Naked Wines offers opportunities in boosting online and overseas sales, says retail analyst Nick Bubb.

However, he says Majestic needs to revive its UK stores first: "That will take time and money but the new CEO [chief executive] has some good ideas on how to make the stores more compelling and less intimidating and I wouldn't rule out the chances of him making it work."

Majestic shares are down more than 2% in London trading.

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