Growing consumer confidence and competitive champagne promotions have helped to boost Majestic Wine's sales in the first half of this year. Chief executive Tim How said a good final quarter at the end of last year has continued into 2001. "We ran some very strong champagne promotions at the beginning of the year. There have been considerable changes in the high street and we and the supermarkets have been doing well. "Fears that consumer confidence would be eroded have not been realised." He reported that like for like sales in April, May and June were up 17.4% and said Majestic could find it difficult to maintain that level during the summer as it would be compared with July and August last year when the company benefited from the sale of a large parcel of claret obtained at competitive prices. In its preliminary results for the year to the end of April Majestic reported stable pretax profits of £4.5m on turnover up 6.9% to £86.8m. The company opened nine new stores in the last financial year, bringing the total to 95. It is continuing the expansion this year. {{NEWS }}