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The Queen’s wine merchant, Berry Bros & Rudd, has dramatically cut its losses despite a drop in sales to bounce back from a “disappointing” 2015 financial year.

The wine and spirits trader reported a 4.4% fall in sales in the year to 31 March 2016 from £151m to £145m as it sought to stabilise its business following poor trading in the previous year.

“Significant steps to improve business performance” during the period led to a £2.8m operating loss being turned around to a £1.5m operating profit, the accounts state, while the pre-tax loss of £6.2m was cut to a loss of £640k.

The results represent its best year of trading since the year to 31 Mar 2012 after reporting operating losses of £1.9m and over in each of the last three financial years.

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Morning update

After plenty of activity over the past couple of weeks the market is slowing down again now as the City heads off for its holidays.

There is no news of note on the markets this morning, though Kraft Heinz (see The Grocer’s story here) and Kellogg’s (see The Grocer’s story here) posted their second quarter results yesterday afternoon in the US.

The FTSE 100 has opened up another 0.6% to 6,781pts this morning and is now at its highest level for a year.

Early risers include PayPoint (PAY), up 2% to 1,003.5p, McColl’s (MCLS), up 1.6% to 171.2p, Cranswick (CWK), up 1.4% to 2,397p and WH Smith (SMWH), up 1% to 1,568p.

Fallers include Majestic Wine (WINE), down 1.4% to 385p, Real Good Food (RGD), down 1.3% to 30.1p and SSP Group (SSPG), down 1% to 325.3p.

Yesterday in the City

The Bank of England’s decision to cut the UK’s base interest rate from 0.5% to 0.25% - the first rate movement since 2009 – helping to drive up the FTSE 100 but send the pound down further against the dollar.

The FTSE 100 was up 1.6% to 6,740.2pts as a number of internationally minded stocks were driven higher by the further fall in the pound – which dropped around 1.6% against the dollar to $1.313.

Associated British Foods (ABF), up 2.4% to 2,897p, Imperial Brands (IMB), up 2.3% to 4,046p, Diageo (DGE), up 2% to 2,170.5p and British American Tobacco (BATS), up 2.3% to 4,812.5p were amongst yesterday’s winners from the rate cut.

The supermarkets also had a good day as pressure on UK consumers’ spending power theoretically eased, with Morrisons (MRW) up 2.4% to 184.4p, Sainsbury’s (SBRY) up 1.9% to 226.8 and Tesco (TSCO), up 1% to 155.5p. Premier Foods was also up 2.5% to 51.25p as it continued its recovery.

The day’s biggest riser for reasons outside the interest rate cut was Zambeef Products, which leapt 39% to 11.1p after securing an investment deal from UK-based CDC Group.

Fallers included B&M European Value Retail (BME), down 0.5% to 253.5p and Marks & Spencer (MKS), down 0.6% to 316.9p.

SABMiller (SAB) dropped 1% to 4,361p as the further fall in the pound could convince more investors to vote against AB InBev’s £45 per share cash deal.