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    Chapel Down toasts rise in off-trade sales

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    English sparkling wine outperformed the Champagne market over the year, sparkling wine maker Chapel Down stated, toasting a 16 per cent rise in off-trade.

    England’s largest winemaker reported net sales revenue of £17.9 million for the 12 months to 31 December, up 14 per cent on 2022, as 21 per cent growth in the first half was followed by just 9 per cent in the second.

    Traditional method sparkling (TMS) wine net sales, excluding duties, were up 25 per cent over the year at £12m, while ‘A Touch of Sparkle” carbonated wine sales were up 7 per cent at £1.5m.

    Chapel Down said that English sparking wine grew retail sales by 16 per cent in the UK off-trade, while Champagne sales declined by 9 per cent, with the company’s off-trade value market share holding more or less stable at a market-leading 35.4 per cent.

    Elsewhere, however, still wine net sales fell 7 per cent to £2.6m due to a “competitive market” and higher duties, while spirits net sales reduced by 7 per cent to £0.6m – with the company reiterating its plans to exit the latter market early this year.

    Across the board, average realised prices were up 12 per cent in 2023, which the company put down to a “continued premiumisation of the brand” as well as a favourable product mix.

    “2023 was a landmark year for English Wine and Chapel Down, and it is great to see the strategic and operational progress that we have delivered, and the continuing sales momentum we have,” said chief executive Andrew Carter.

    “Chapel Down continues to grow profitably – a core strength which, along with our strong balance sheet, makes us resilient and underpins our ambitious plans. We look forward to updating the market on the continued profitability of our business in our full year audited results.”

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