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Naked Wines’ US push adds sparkle to lockdown sales

·2-min read
 (naked wines)
(naked wines)

Naked Wines today toasted lockdown-fuelled revenues and booming sales in the $20 billion US market.

The AIM-listed online merchant reported total sales up 68% to £340 million for the year to April, with North America sales up nearly 80% on the prior year to £161.7 million.

The doorstep delivery firm said it is increasing its focus on the US, which is now its largest market, has a higher margin, and represents nearly half of total sales.

The company reported a £10.7 million pre-tax loss, up from £5.4 million a year earlier, which bosses put down to a £50 million investment in customer offers and other expansion moves. Active subscriber numbers were up 53% to 886,000 in the year “with improved retention rates”.

The company has already more than doubled its warehouse capacity in the past year, and bosses highlighted £85.1 million in cash on hand at year-end available to help execute growth plans.

CEO Nick Devlin told the Standard the US “is the number one priority” and said he is confident the business will be able to hang on to many of its lockdown-era subscribers going forward.

He said: “The question everyone is asking about online retailers and what post-Covid is going to look like... I believe Naked is one of the things people have discovered, and think ‘why would I want to do anything different?’ and I think you’re seeing that coming through in the numbers. Sales to our members are up 30% on last year, and up 96% on this time two years ago - we have essentially doubled the size of the business in two years.

“A load of those people who tried us in spring or summer last year stuck around, and that’s why today we have nearly 900,000 members around the world, 50% more than we had last year, and that’s driving sustained growth in sales to our members - which is ultimately where we make our money.”

Independent retail analyst Nick Bubb said: “It is a surprise that losses actually increased slightly, given new customer acquisition costs, but investors will be reassured to hear that sales are still increasing”.

Naked Wines shares were down nearly 3% on Friday morning.

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