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Conviviality sales surge 9.2% as market share grows

Published:  29 January, 2018

Sales at independent drinks distributor Conviviality surged by 9.2% to £836.3m in the 26 weeks to October 29 2017, the group announced today.

The owner of the Bargain Booze, Wine Rack and Select Convenience retail chains, and distributors Matthew Clark and Bibendum Wine put the solid sales growth down to strong market share gains.

The group won 1,408 new on trade accounts during the period, while 2,400 existing customers including 84 national accounts increased purchases.

New deals included long term contracts with Stonegate Pub Co and JD Wetherspoon and a 10-year wine supply deal with 339 Wadworth pubs, helped to drive 6.9% sales growth in the on trade.

Retail sales surged by 10%, driven in part by the opening of 22 new stores.

Like for like sales excluding tobacco were up 2.3%, while the group said that gross margins for retail franchisees rose by 0.8% points during the period.

“Our customers and franchisees have continued to recognise the strength of the Conviviality proposition and the opportunities a single supplier and distribution solution affords them,” said Conviviality CEO Diana Hunter.

“This has been evidenced by our above market growth in both the on trade and the off trade during the period.”

Post tax profits fell 10.3% to £5.2m following a £10.5m investment in IT systems and the launch of a new digital platform for on trade customers. The company said more than half of Matthew Clark sales are now through this platform.

Hunter said the company had hit a “significant milestone” in integrating its Matthew Clark and Bibendum Wine operations into its resource planning system.

“We have made deliberate choices to successfully grow market share and enhance the quality of future earnings by agreeing long term contracts with our larger customers and securing new national account customers,” she continued.

“These gains in market share coupled with our continued strong sales demonstrates our competitive advantage, the broad customer base we have developed and the robust nature of Conviviality as the UK’s leading drinks wholesaler, distributor and solution provider to our customers”.