Profits at Majestic Wine soared by 20% over the past six months, as customers spent more on each bottle of wine.

Majestic reported pre-tax profits of £8.8m in the 26 weeks to 26 September, up from £7.3m for the equivalent last year.

With 534,000 more people making a purchase, sales were up 9.8% to £117m. Like-for-like sales, excluding the eight new stores that opened in the period, grew by 2.7%.

The average outlay per transaction rose to £125 from £122, with the average bottle of wine bought for £7.13, up from an average of £6.67 last year.

“Our proposition, built on the strength of our product range and excellent customer service, continues to attract new customers to Majestic,” said group chairman Phil Wrigley.

Majestic’s performance was helped by bargin-hunting booze cruisers picking up wine across the Channel.  Sales at its three stores in northern France grew by 4.6%, with pre-tax profits up to £658,000.

But the last six weeks had seen a slowdown, Majestic warned, with like-for-likes down 1.1% in UK stores.

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