Majestic Wine’s pre-tax profit jumped 9% to £6.1m in the 26 weeks to September 28.
Like-for-likes increased 5.4%, while total sales rose from £12.6m to £106.7m, including a £6m contribution from Lay & Wheeler, the fine wine specialist it acquired in March.
In the five weeks to November 2, like-for-likes in the UK climbed 6%.
Trading conditions in France “continue to be difficult due principally to the ongoing strength of the Euro”, with sales declining 31.9% to £3.6m at its Wine and Beer World chain.
In the six month period, online sales across the group climbed 24.6%, and now represent 9.2% of UK retail sales.
The average bottle of still wine purchased at the retailer was £6.41, compared with £6.19 last year. However, average spend fell from £135 to £133.
The 153-store retailer opened four new UK stores in the period. Since year end it has opened two more. It said it sees room for “at least 250 locations” in the UK.
Chief executive Steve Lewis said: “I am pleased that, in the half year, Majestic has achieved profit growth of 9%. It is encouraging that in the current economic conditions our loyal customers continue to find the Majestic proposition compelling.”
Following a year long trial, Majestic Wine reduced the minimum purchase in-store from 12 bottles to six. The retailer said “initial indications following the full rollout are encouraging”.
It also said that whilst it is “pleased with the trading performance so far this year” it remains “cautious about the economic climate”.
However it added: “We are well positioned for the very important Christmas trading period.”