UK wine warehouse chain Majestic Wine posted a full-year pretax profit increase of 3.4% to GBP16.7m as a result of strong growth in fine wine sales and despite a "challenging" consumer environment.

The results for the 52 weeks ended 31 March 2008, saw total sales up 3.1% to GBP197m from GBP191.2m for the same period last year.

Like-for-like UK sales were up 0.8% in the first ten weeks to 9 June 2008. Since April, sales have been significantly stronger with like-for-like UK sales up 4.4% for the six weeks ending 9 June 2008.

Since the year-end an additional store opening in Hereford, brings the number of Majestic Wine stores to 145 in the UK. Several more new stores are in advanced stages of negotiation, the company said.
Tim How, chief executive of Majestic, said: "Although the consumer environment is challenging, Majestic has a clearly differentiated retail model and is well positioned for future growth in this highly competitive market."