Wine warehouse chain Majestic Wine has said trading had bounced back after a slowdown in April caused by a sharp hike in alcohol duty.
The group said a rush to buy alcohol in March before the Budget changes came into effect hit trading in April, leaving growth in like-for-like sales in the 10 weeks to June 9 at 0.8 per cent.
But comparable sales since April had grown by a "significantly stronger" 4.4 per cent, according to Majestic.
News of the group's recent trading came as it posted a 3.4 per cent rise in full-year pre-tax profits, to £16.7 million for the 12 months to the end of March.
But Majestic said much of the recent rise in trading was down to the increase in prices after the tax change, with many products now 10 per cent more expensive.
Spirits increased by an inflation-busting 55p a bottle, while beer rose by 4p a pint and wine by 14p a bottle in the Chancellor's duty rise.
Majestic's outgoing chief executive Tim How, who is retiring in August after almost two decades at the helm, said the price increases were a "shame" for consumers, but added the group had been offering promotions on certain wines to help offset the added expense.
Mr How said he was "delighted" that his last set of full-year figures allowed him to bow out after 15 years of "record" profits.
He will hand over the reins to Steve Lewis, currently chief operating officer, after the group's annual general meeting in August, having transformed Majestic from a small loss-making chain into a business with more than 140 outlets.
Mr How said he will leave the business "in good shape", with plans to continue expanding at a pace of around 10 stores a year, with aims to reach at least 200 outlets.
Majestic came under pressure in the run-up to Christmas from the supermarket chains, with like-for-like sales up 1.2 per cent in the nine weeks to the end of 2007.
But Mr How said the group's unique proposition should stand it in good stead.
"In no way do we under-estimate the competition from supermarkets, but we offer a very different model to supermarkets, with large stores, free delivery and very knowledgeable staff who can advise people on their wine purchases," he said.
Like-for-like sales in the 12 months to March 31 rose 2.4 per cent in the UK, with average spend up 8.1 per cent to £133.
Top sellers include Nicolas Feuillatte champagne, as well as Bordeaux, while the group also said New Zealand wines and sauvignon in particular were becoming increasing popular, with sales overtaking Australian wines by value.
Its online operation also saw strong growth, now accounting for 7.9 per cent of UK retail sales.
But Majestic's store based in France - Wine and Beer World - suffered amid the stronger euro, reporting a £300,000 drop in pre-tax profits to £1.5 million and like for like sales on a same currency down 8.8 per cent.