Wine merchant Corney and Barrow has seen pre-tax profits rise 40% in 2010, despite a weaker performance in its wine bars.
The company also saw group turnover increase by just over 6% to £50.3m for the year. It was helped along by increasing sales at its merchanting and wine shop activities, where turnover went up by 11.6% to almost £34.7m. But sales at its wine bars were down 4% to £15.6m.
It was also helped by its efforts to tap into more overseas markets, including South-East Asia, where it has invested in its Hong Kong operation. Overseas turnover was up 26% to £7.3m, compared with the UK where it was up only 3% to just under £43m.
In a company statement, Corney & Barrow said: “Wine bars continued to experience very challenging trading conditions in the wake of the significant downturn in the market that had occurred in the previous year. While there were some positive signs of recovery during the second half of the year, it is expected the market will continue to be challenging in the year ahead.”
In general the company said the prospects for the year ahead were good and that it expected to see high demand for en primeur wines of the 2009 vintage, was well as increased sales from South-East Asia.
The company also managed to reduce its net debt from £4.2m in 2009 to just under £3m.