Majestic Wine has reported a 16.7% increase in half-year pre-tax profit to £7.5m on sales up 3% at £91m.

Like-for-like sales for the 26 weeks to 1 October rose 2.4% despite an “unusual” trading pattern during the period, the wine retailer said.

The average bottle of wine purchased rose from £5.66 to £5.85, while the average spend per transaction rose from £121 to £128.

“While we expect the trading environment to continue to be challenging, we are well prepared for the important Christmas trading period,” added CEO Tim How.