Shoppers have not lost their taste for fine wine ­despite the economic climate, Berry Bros & Rudd has claimed.

In the wine merchant’s full-year accounts, filed at Companies House this week, chairman Simon Berry reported a “very successful” year thanks to strong demand for good wine: “A surge of interest in fine wine, especially at the very top of the market, is bucking the trend of the recession and is especially evident in the Far East.”

Berry Bros & Rudd reported an expected drop in full-year sales following the sale of a number of businesses last year. Sales dropped 26.4% to £215.7m in the year to 31 March. However, pre-tax profits rocketed 367% to £28.4m during the period.

These figures ­included profits resulting from the sale of Cutty Sark, WS Karoulias and Viesa, as well as the purchase of Anchor Brewers and Distillers, said Berry.

Operating profits, which fell from £6.4m to £4.9m during the period, provided a “clearer picture” and were better than expected due to the strong performance from the company’s wine business.

“The fact that we sold more products at the high end of the price and profit scale meant the spirits company made smaller losses than predicted,” said Berry.