Majestic has revealed full-year pre-tax profit will be flat because of “challenging” trading conditions in 2014 as it plans to invest to drive growth.
The wine merchant said that for the year to March 31 pre-tax profit will be “broadly in line” with the previous financial year. It has just two weeks to go until its year-end.
Majestic said that despite a “satisfactory” Christmas trading period when it achieved like-for-like sales growth of 2.8% the conditions since the beginning of 2014 have been “challenging”.
It also expects like-for-like sales to be flat for the year.
Majestic said data from Nielsen shows it has maintained market share at 4.1%.
The retailer said it will invest in order to support its growth strategy to increase stores to more than 300 and expand its ecommerce offer.
Majestic plans to plough money into opening new office space, opening a larger and more efficient distribution facility, establishing its own in-house ecommerce development team and growing its commercial sales team.
Majestic said it will also invest in staff training and data analytics.
Majestic said: “These investments are necessary to ensure that we can drive further growth although the costs in the short term mean that the board now anticipates a flatter profit growth profile in the 2015 financial year.”
Majestic chief executive Steve Lewis added: “The Majestic proposition remains compelling to the consumer and our future growth prospects remain bright. I am confident that the investments we are making over the course of the next 12 months will drive future shareholder value.”