Majestic Wine has swung to a profit in its first half, helped by rising sales.

The retailer’s pre-tax profit stood at £3.07m for the 26 weeks to October 2, up from a loss of £4.4m.

Revenues increased to £217.3m, up from £205.6m.

Sales rose in almost every division, with Majestic Retail sales creeping up to £120.6m, from £117.8m and Naked Wines sales rising to £67.7m from £58.9m.

Naked Wines is now profitable in all three of its regions, with this improvement driven by customer acquisition.

Sales at historic wine merchants Lay & Wheeler – which Majestic acquired in 2009 – inched up to £6.2m, from £5.3m.

However, sales at Majestic’s commercial arm fell to £22.6m from £23.4m, with management explaining that its priority was the “much bigger” retail business and that consequently it intended “to restore Majestic Commercial to growth from 2018 onwards”.

Chief executive Rowan Gormley said: “The plan is on track. Two years in and profits are growing, our foundation is solid and we are ready to accelerate growth. We have the opportunities to invest in new customers and a team excited to focus on what they do best. It’s time to put our foot on the gas.

“The focus on empowering our wonderful store teams in Majestic Retail has finally borne fruit, with improved staff engagement flowing through into improved customer engagement, which means improved loyalty and retention.

“The team have worked like demons and I am dead proud of every one of them.”