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Majestic Wine reports 15% increase in online sales

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Online sales at wine merchant Majestic Wine (LON:MJW) increased nearly 15% in the year to the beginning of April, the company revealed.

The UK's largest wine specialist, which has 193 stores, said in its full year results that the company was in "excellent" shape and has made good progress with the four key areas of its growth strategy: new stores, business customers, ecommerce and fine wine.

Sales of fine wine, at £20 per bottle or above, increased by 9.4% on last year, and there was a "significant" increase of English sparkling wine sales.

Total sales were down, however, to  £274.4 million compared to £280.3 mln in 2012, which was a 53 week year.

Group pre-tax profit increased by half a million pounds to £23.7m (2012: £23.2m).

The final dividend of 11.8p per share brings the total dividend for the year to 15.8p (2012:15.6p), the firm said.

"We believe that the prospects for our future growth are good and are encouraged by our ability to attract large numbers of new customers," the company said.

"Majestic has a clearly defined growth strategy which has four key components: the continuing growth of sales through our core estate coupled with its expansion, growing sales to business customers, increasing ecommerce traffic and developing sales of fine wine."

City broker Canaccord, which rates the stock a 'buy', noted the shares have underperformed the general retailer sector by 36% over the past year - the majority of this in the last six months, which the broker thinks is overdone.

It notes the firm is expanding forecefully, spending around £40 million on capex in 2013 to 2015 estimates, with free cash flow per share expected to grow by a compound annual growth rate of greater than 16%.

It targets a price of 505p for the shares.

Shares dipped 1.04% to 450p.

Quick facts: Majestic Wine PLC

Price: 260 GBX

AIM:WINE
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £188.87 m
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