New Berry Bros shop sees sales grow 20%

Berry Bros & Rudd has reported that operating profit fell 74.8% to £1.6 million in the year to March 31, 2018.

The UK’s oldest wine merchant, which counts the Royal Family among its customer base, blamed reduced gross profit in its core UK market “driven by mix” for the decline. It added that an investment in new IT systems dented operating profits.

However, sales rose 9.4% to £186.6 million, excluding en primeur adjustment, compared to the previous year.

Without taking that adjustment into account, turnover rose 14.7% to £169.8 million and gross profit shot up 13.6% to £47.4 million on the back of the sale of The Glenrothes back to Highland Distollers.

“As a group we have seen strong underlying sales growth, which has been reinforced by the 2016 en primeur campaigns,” the group reported. “This year we have experienced our third largest en primeur Bordeaux campaign in the company’s history, and strong en primeur Burgundy sales. Our fine wine had a good year, with sales up £12 million.”

In June it opened its new shop at 62-63 Pall Mall, replete with a private client advisory space, and this new shop has seen retail sales grow 20% through this channel.

“This has strengthened our offering, enhanced the retail experience and allowed us to provide our customers with the finest customer service,” said the group.

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