Fine wine merchant shrugs off sterling fears to record strong en primeur campaign

Fine wine merchant BI Wine said British clients are undeterred by the weak sterling rate after reporting its most successful en primer campaign in seven years.

It generated £14 million, up 65% on 2016, and said UK consumers accounted for 70% of sales.

In total the merchant grew H1 turnover to £50 million, up 43% on the previous year, with soaring sales of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne and US wines the highlight, while rare spirits sales were up 79%.

Clients in Asia accounted for 50% of total group sales, helped by a favourable exchange rate.

Managing director Gary Boom comments: ‘‘Looking to the balmy summer months ahead the sustained high levels of trade, steady prices and preponderance of export demand all give reason for optimism.

“The diversity of demand is encouraging, and suggests that the global market is maturing very nicely. Recent history also suggests that a strong Bordeaux En Primeur campaign will support and emphasise the prevailing market sentiment of the time - much as it did in 2009 and 2010 and in reverse for 2011-2014.

“Moreover, the plight of the 2017 harvest, which has been heavily hail and frost affected, suggests that a further future supply constraint is to be incorporated – welcome news for holders of stock.” 

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