Shares in specialist ‘angel’ investor Naked Wines (WINE:AIM) fell 4% to 762p after the firm posted in-line revenues and a small loss for the year to March.

Total sales were up 68% to £340.2 million compared with consensus estimates of just below £340 million, while earnings before interest and taxes were negative to the tune of £1.5 million against a consensus of minus £8.5 million.

The business registered strong growth all three segments – the US, the UK and Australia – with sales in the US up 78% to £161.7 million making it the firm’s biggest market.

UK sales were up 66% to £133.1 million thanks to an established customer base and a high level of repeat customer contribution, while Australian sales were 42% higher at £45.5 million thanks to increased order frequency from repeat customers.

The widespread shift to e-commerce during the pandemic boosted business, and with more consumers getting used to buying online customer acquisition costs were lower.

Repeat customer sales were £283.9 million, up 63%, with an increase in customer retention of 5.6% to 88%. At the end of the year the firm had 886,000 subscribers or ‘angels’, a 53% increase on the previous year.

Chief executive Nick Devlin is particularly excited about the market opportunity in the US, where the addressable market is a whopping $20 billion per year.

‘In this market we have a clear differentiator; the high quality of wines that we are able to provide to customers at significantly lower prices than retail providers, while operating at a much larger scale than other direct-to-consumer players’, said Devlin.

This year the firm is expecting total sales of between £355 million and £375 million, in line with consensus forecasts of £369 million, with a similar level of investment to last year, in the £40 million to £50 million range.

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Issue Date: 11 Jun 2021