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English sparkling wine producer Gusbourne has narrowed underlying losses as it cut costs and continued to grow sales.

Total revenues in 2023 increased 13% to £7.1m, which the company said in the full-year trading update reflected “continued robust sales growth” across the three main sales channels. However, the annual rate of growth slowed considerably from a 49% jump in 2022.

DTC wine sales rose by “a very pleasing” 26% and overall revenue in the channel improved by 18% to £2m, including business at the Nest, the group’s cellar door operation in Kent, which increased capacity during the year.

UK trade sales grew 13% to £3.4m but Gusbourne said trading conditions were more difficult in the second half, while international sales registered growth of 7% to £1.5m.

Gross margin improved significantly to 68%, up from 59% in 2022, reflecting improved price and sales mix dynamic.

Full year adjusted EBITDA loss narrowed from the prior year’s £1.1m adjusted loss, with the board “encouraged” by the continuing cost control measures.

CEO Jonathan White said: “2023 has seen the group make further progress against our growth strategy as we continue to strengthen Gusbourne’ s position as the one of the UK’s most significant fine wine producers.

“These results have been achieved against a difficult macroeconomic environment, which ultimately resulted in more challenging trading conditions for the luxury goods sector in the second half of the year.

“Despite this backdrop we have continued to see significant consumer demand for Gusbourne’s wines with robust growth across all three of our sales channels, underpinned by the careful and continued investment in the brand and the commitment and dedication of our talented team.”

Morning update

Cadbury owner Mondelez International has increased full-year revenues by 14.4% in 2023 to $36bn.

The performance was driven by organic growth of 14.7% and a 1.3% rise in underlying volumes, with fourth quarter sales up 7.1% and volumes down 0.4%.

Operating profits for the year jumped 56% to $5.5bn as margins improved and the group benefitted from favourable currency movements, commodity hedging and lapping acquisition-related costs in 2022.

“Our 2023 results underscore the strength of our execution, the importance of our investments and the resiliency of our portfolio, footprint, categories, and brands,” said CEO Dirk Van de Put.

“We delivered double-digit top-line and earnings growth for the year, leading to strong cashflow generation and capital return to shareholders. “Our growth was balanced across developed and emerging markets, with robust performance in all regions.”

For 2024, Mondelez forecast organic net revenue growth of 3 to 5%.

“As we enter 2024, we continue focusing on strong execution, supported by a significant increase in investments behind our brands, capabilities, and talent,” Van de Put added.

“We remain confident that we are well positioned for sustainable top- and bottom-line growth in the years ahead.”

The FTSE 100 opened down 0.2% to 7,648.73pts this morning.

Greencore is among the early risers, up 2.3% to 105.9p, with Kerry Group up 1.7% to €82.40 and Deliveroo back up 1.4% to 119.7p.

Naked Wines has plunged by 5.1% to 65.5p, Hilton Food Group is down 1.6% to 781p, Associated British Foods is down 1.1% to 2,355p and Cranswick is down 1% to 3,955.9p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 closed up 0.4% to 7,666.31pts yesterday.

Delivery Hero and Deliveroo had bad days after the former revealed it was in the process of selling its 4.5% stake in the UK-listed group. Delivery Hero sank 5.3% to 421.38 in Germany, while Deliveroo fell 3.1% to 118.1p

Diageo made a late rally to get its head above water and finish 0.9% higher at 2,867.5p after spending much of the day in the red. The drinks firm reported a 1.4% drop in H1 revenues as weaker sales in Latin America and Caribbean continued to plague the group.

Pets at Home also managed to get back into positive territory by the closing bell, nudging up 0.1% to 293.4p on the back of “resilient” demand as its numbers came in below expectations.

Airport and railway station caterer SSP Group fell 0.3% to 224.8p despite it starting the year “well” with a 21% jump in Q1 sales.

Other risers for the day included Glanbia, Naked Wines and THG, up 8.2% to €16.02, 4.4% to 69p and 2.8% to 69p respectively, while DS Smith was part of the fallers, down 1.9% to 284.7p.