Majestic Wine has posted a rise in UK sales for the Christmas run-in. The wine retailer said today (6 January) that like-for-like UK sales were up by 10.4% for the nine weeks of Christmas trading from 2 November to 3 January.

In a statement, Tim How, Majestic's chief executive, said: "Wines from Bordeaux, Italy, Chile and New Zealand sold very well and Champagne sales grew strongly."

Separately, the company also said that John Apthorp will be retiring as chairman following the next AGM on 5 August, when he will have reached the age of 70.

The board has agreed that he will be succeeded, as non-executive chairman, by Simon Burke, who has been a non-executive director of Majestic since March 2000. He has been chief executive of the Virgin Retail Group and chairman of Hamleys.