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Published:  23 July, 2008

By-the-case specialist Majestic has once again bucked the trend for multiple specialists, posting significant rises in both profits and sales for the first half of the 2004/2005 financial year. Profit before tax and amortisation, and without last year's exceptional item, grew by 26.6% to 5 million. Total sales for the year were up to 74.6 million from 69.1 million, with like-for-like sales up 7.4%. Majestic also saw its average bottle price rise to 5.46 from 5.31 and its average single retail transaction grow from 104 to 110 . The company cited Italy, Chile, South Africa, New Zealand and, thanks to the legendary Swiss parcel', Bordeaux as particularly strong sellers. The retailer's fine wine sales, defined as sales above 20, also stood out, growing at 38% thanks to the opening of a fine wine centre in St John's Wood and the launch of a fine wine' section on its website. Sales growth continues to be most encouraging with UK like-for-like sales in the six weeks from 28 September to 8 November up 10.4%,' said Majestic chief executive Tim How. We are very pleased by Majestic's continued progress and see considerable opportunities for further growth.' The company added three new stores, in Inverness, Covent Garden and Chippenham, during the period, and has added three more this month, in Marlborough, Ruislip and High Wycombe, taking its total estate to 120.