Chapel Down growth continues in ‘landmark year’

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Successful times: Chapel Down released a sparkling wine to celebrate the King's coronation in May last year
Successful times: Chapel Down released a sparkling wine to celebrate the King's coronation in May last year

Related tags Wine Finance Chapel Down

Wine producer Chapel Down has labelled 2023 as a “landmark year” for English wine and itself as it posted a trading report for its 2023 financial year.

The Kent-based business said it had “continued to deliver profitable growth and expand its brand presence both domestically and internationally” in its unaudited trading update for the year ended 31 December 2023.

Chapel Down, which is England’s leading and largest winemaker, said its net sales revenue (NSR) (post-retro*) is expected to have grown 14% to £17.2m (2022: £15.0m) while NSR (pre-retro*) – Chapel Down’s previously disclosed main revenue metric – is expected to have grown 14% to £17.9m (2022: £15.6m).

Other highlights include Traditional Method Sparkling (TMS) wine volume and value growth underpinned the business’s premiumisation strategy with core TMS wine NSR growing by 25% to £12.0m (2022: £9.6m) on underlying volume growth of 12% to 887k bottles (2022: 789k).

Increase in on-trade listings

On-trade NSR grew by 26%, driven by a significant increase in listings to more than 2,000, with over 1,000 being ‘by the glass’, which leads to the greatest rate of sale and consumer conversion.

Off-trade remains the largest channel and NSR grew by 9%. Off-trade TMS wines NSR grew  by 21%, strengthened by the introduction of sparkling rosé for sale alongside Brut in the premium category, as well as an expanded distribution to 3,805 listings (2022: 3,116).

Chapel Down CEO Andrew Carter said: “[Last year] 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.

“In line with our 2023 targets, the business achieved double-digit net sales revenue growth, driven by the exceptional performance of our traditional method sparkling wine and with growth across all our UK and international trade channels and our direct-to-consumer business.”

Ambitious plans

Carter continued: “Chapel Down continues to grow profitably – a core strength which, along with our strong balance sheet, makes us resilient and underpins our ambitious plans.

“Chapel Down is the market leader in an industry which is enjoying rapid and sustained growth, we have the strongest and most recognised brand, the deepest distribution which we continue to expand at pace, and we continue to win international acclaim for the quality of our wines.

“Our continued outstanding performance, and the fantastic, record-breaking 2023 harvest, means our passionate and highly skilled team carries significant momentum into the new financial year.”

* Chapel Down listed on AIM on 7 December 2023. Consequently, the company has adopted IFRS as its accounting standard. This includes netting Retrospective discount support (Retro), which is promotional price support given to customers by Chapel Down, from Net Sales Revenue (“NSR post-Retro”). Previously, Net Sales Revenue was reported before netting Retro (“NSR pre retro”).

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