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Naked Wines shares tumble on weak outlook warning

Naked Wines has seen its shares plummet by as much as 40% as the group cautioned over sales and earnings for the year ahead.

The group warned that sales could fall by up to 4% in the year to the end of next March, while it expects to only break even on an underlying earnings basis.

The weak outlook sent shares falling by 40% at one stage on Thursday as it took the shine off results showing a return to profit.

Naked Wines recorded a pre-tax profit of £2.9 million for the year to March 28 against a loss of £10.7 million the year before.

Total sales also increased 5% year-on-year on a constant currency basis to £350.3 million.

But chief executive Nick Devlin said the group will not “pursue growth at any cost” in a more difficult year ahead.

He said: “Looking ahead, Naked Wines is well positioned to continue to grow amidst a changing consumer environment.

“At the same time, we will not pursue growth at any cost, and our guidance is that we intend to trade the business at or around breakeven this year.

“We believe this is the responsible balance to strike in full year 2022-23, mindful of the levels of macro-economic uncertainty but also of the opportunities we see ahead and the potential for disruptive models like ours to gain traction in tough times as consumers revaluate their purchasing choices.”

Total group sales are expected to be £345-375 million – ranging from a 4% fall to a 4% increase on a constant currency basis.

General and administrative costs are predicted to be £45-48 million and the company hope to invest £5 million in marketing and research and development.

Analysts at Liberum said it could be a “tough year” ahead for the online wine retailer.