Wine warehouse chain Majestic said that more customers turning to champagne over the festive period had helped it continue its strong performance, with like-for-like sales up 5.2 per cent during Christmas trading.
Strong demand for wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Spain, Chile and New Zealand also boosted business in the nine weeks to January 2, the Watford-based group said.
In September Majestic, which operates the largest chain of wine warehouse stores in Britain, reported like-for-like sales were 5.5 per cent up on 2004 and that they increased 10.4 per cent last Christmas.
Majestic has 125 sites in the UK, including seven in the West Midlands.
Chief executive Tim How
said: "We are pleased with our sales performance over the Christmas period."
In June, Majestic unveiled a 24 per cent rise in annual profits - saying people were continuing to "trade up" to more expensive wines as they held more dinner parties and discovered a wider variety of wines while travelling abroad on holidays.
The company also announced yesterday retail director Steve Lewis was stepping up to become chief operating officer with responsibility for Majestic's trading operations. The 41-year-old joined the Majestic board in 1998.
Buying department manager Justin Apthorp, aged 43, is joining the board as buying director.
He holds 1.2 per cent of the company's shares.