Angel investor growth helps Naked Wines swing into profit

Naked Wines, founder Rowan Gormely (left), managing director Eamon Fitzgerald. Picture submitted.

Naked Wines, founder Rowan Gormely (left), managing director Eamon Fitzgerald. Picture submitted. - Credit: Archant

Online retailer Naked Wines has swung into profit after an upsurge in members drove home a stronger financial performance.

In its latest published accounts, the Norwich-based company recorded a 16.8pc increase in turnover to £45.1m, while pre-tax profits rose out of the red and into black, turning a £746,000 loss into £1.1m profit.

The fizzing performance was underpinned by the continued growth of the firm's angel investors – the members that fund its independent wines – which rose from 141,000 to 158,000 to the year ending December 31 2014. Funds to invest in winemakers also grew from £7.2m to £8.7m over the same period.

It comes as the EDP Top100 firm announced that it had moved from its previous headquarters at Holland Court, The Close, to newly renovated offices at Norvic House on Chapel Field Road, Norwich.

The recently published accounts provide a window into the firm's financial performance before it was taken over by Majestic Wine in April.

The Norfolk firm was snapped up by the high street rival in a £70m deal, which saw the founder and chairman of Naked Wines, Rowan Gormley, become the chief executive of both companies.

The combination of the two firms will allow it to launch a click and collect service, so members of Naked Wines can pick up their orders at Majestic Wine stores.

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The move will also give the online retailer better access to the French grape growing regions of Burgundy and Bordeaux.

Eamon Fitzgerald, managing director of Naked Wines, said: 'The future has never looked brighter for Naked Wines. We're in a strong position to land more winemakers and grow our angel customer base with the Majestic investment, and offer our angels even better service through click and collect from Majestic stores.

'On top of this, our new office in Norvic House means we have the collaborative and dynamic working environment we need to make this happen.'

Last month, Mr Gormley pledged to scale back store openings at Majestic Wine after pre-tax profits fell 22pc to £18.4m – despite like-for-like sales rising 1.9pc.

The company had planned to open 330 stores on top of its current portfolio of 213, but those ambitions were slashed to just 20 or 30 openings.

Mr Gormley founded Naked Wines in 2008. It employs more than 140 people,

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