Majestic Wine revealed a modest Christmas performance this morning, as its sales were hit by heavy discounting on alcohol by supermarkets.

Like-for-like sales were up 1.2 per cent at Majestic in the nine weeks to December 31. However, the final run-in picked up significantly, with the last five weeks of the period showing a 4.1 per cent comparable increase after a fall in November.

Majestic chief executive Tim How explained the figures by saying: “A good December performance followed a disappointing November.”

The AIM-listed wine specialist is often held up as an example of how niche retailers can hold their own against the might of the grocers, but Blue Oar Securities analyst Greg Lawless said that supermarkets offering 25 per cent off any six bottles of wine had clearly hurt Majestic in November.

“A slightly disappointing trading statement,” said Lawless, but he added that “consumers traded back to Majestic in December, which shows the resilience of the format”.