June 14, 2018 / 6:31 AM / in 5 months

British wine retailer Majestic Wine posts FY sales growth; cautions on challenging UK market

June 14 (Reuters) - British wine retailer Majestic Wine reported full-year revenue growth of 2.3 percent to 476.1 million pounds on Thursday, mainly driven by its independent winemaking business Naked Wines, but warned the UK market will remain challenging.

“We expect the U.K. market to remain tough, possibly even tougher than last year,” Rowan Gormley, Group Chief Executive, said. “Despite this, we expect to hit FY19 market expectations.”

Overall adjusted pre-tax profit rose to 17.2 million pounds from 12.9 million pounds last year.

Chairman Greg Hodder said that consumer spending is under pressure and costs are continuing to rise, while online competition is hurting the company.

The company has been struggling due to mounting competition from discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl UK, and online rivals offering cheaper wines.

Hodder said short-term profits may be more “volatile”, and while the company plans to maintain a progressive dividend for the fiscal year 2019, it is possible that dividend growth may be suppressed in the medium term as the company prioritises growth investment. (Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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