• Conviviality’s full-year profits to come in ahead of expectations
  • Bargain Booze owner’s sales more than double following Matthew Clark acquisition
  • But like-for-like retail sales slip 1.3% across full-year
  • Conviviality to post full-year figures in July

Bargain Booze owner Conviviality has edged up its profit forecast after hailing the impact of a “transformational” year for the group.

The business, which also owns the Wine Rack fascia, said the acquisition of drinks supplier Matthew Clark last October allowed it to “significantly progress its strategy” during the year to May 1, as group sales rocketed 137% to approximately £864m.

Conviviality, which dropped the word ‘Retail’ from its name following completion of the Matthew Clark deal, said EBITDA would come in “marginally ahead of market expectations”, with net debt of around £87m.

The business added that its strategy of “leveraging its strength as the UK’s leading specialist alcohol wholesaler and distributor” would be further driven by the £60m acquisition of Bibendum.

Conviviality opened 126 new stores during the 53-week period, closing 34, bringing its portfolio to 716 at the year end.

But like-for-like retail sales generated through its franchise stores fell 1.3% across the year, although that marked an improvement on the 1.7% decline in its prior financial year. Wine Rack continued to outperform Bargain Booze, posting a like-for-like gains of 3.2%.

Conviviality added that Matthew Clark had “traded strongly” since the £200m acquisition. Sales advanced 4.9%, while the number of outlets it supplied grew 2.9%.

The group said it would provide more details on the synergies arising from the Matthew Clark and Bibendum deals when it reports full-year results in July.

“We look forward to a strong set of results reflecting our transition to being the UK’s leading independent alcohol wholesaler”

Diana Hunter

Conviviality boss Diana Hunter said: “We have successfully completed a transformational year for the company, its employees, customers and franchisees.

“We look forward to a strong set of results reflecting our transition to being the UK’s leading independent alcohol wholesaler, serving consumers through the on-trade and through its franchise retail estate.”

Hunter added: “I continue to be encouraged by the company’s achievements and the opportunities we have for the business.”