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Chapel Down, England’s largest winemaker, has been admitted to London’s Aim market as it searches for new investors to back its plan to double in size between 2021 and 2026.
The sparkling wine producer, which was previously listed on the Aquis Stock Exchange, started trading on Aim on Thursday. Its shares were up 1.85 per cent to 55p by mid afternoon, according to Bloomberg data.
“We believe that a move to Aim will attract a wider pool of investors to participate in Chapel Down’s growth,” said chief executive Andrew Carter.
In September, it reported a 21 per cent rise in revenues to £8.4mn in the first half of the year and a 27 per cent increase in operating profit to £685,000. The company said growth had been driven by better brand awareness thanks to its sponsorships of events including racing at Ascot and a partnership with the England and Wales Cricket Board.
The company sold 721,000 bottles of wine during the period, a 6 per cent rise compared with last year.
Sparkling wine sales, which make up 70 per cent of the total, were 45 per cent higher than the same period last year. Chapel Down also reported strong duty-free airport sales.
The winemaker had a record harvest in 2023, saying that climate change contributed to better conditions for UK wine growers. Its tonnage for the year was 86 per cent higher than 2022 and 75 per cent higher than the previous record in 2018.
Carter has previously referred to the improved conditions for growing wine grapes in England as the “bittersweet part of climate change”.
With an average temperature of 15.4C, about 0.8C warmer than average, 2023 was the UK’s eighth-warmest summer on record, according to the Met Office weather service. Hotter and longer growing seasons have benefited UK producers in recent years.