Wine firm sees fizz in sales as people order booze in lockdown

Naked Wines, Norwch, has seen a spike in revenue because of lockdown. Pic: Archant

Naked Wines, Norwch, has seen a spike in revenue because of lockdown. Pic: Archant

Norwich’s Naked Wines saw revenue up 81pc for April and May after so much demand for deliveries it had to pause orders.

The business based in Chapelfield Road saw such a surge in demand for wine in March when the coronavirus outbreak caused shut down that for a time it had to slow down orders to work through them all.

But it paid off because its recent results showed profit after tax was £8.2 million in the full year to March 30, with revenue increasing 13.7pc to £202.9 million.

Meanwhile losses before tax also reduced by 46pc to £5.4 million.

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Last March Naked Wines, a former Future50 firm, acquired the Majestic Wine business but in August sold it and the Les Celliers de Calais business in a

£95 million deal.

When this deal was done, last December, the firm went fully online.

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Chief executive Nick Devlin said: “I’m delighted to report a strong set of results to conclude a year of transition for Naked Wines. “We are ending the year with great momentum behind our growth plans and a simplified, well-capitalised online pureplay model that is ideally suited to the current climate.

“I believe the enduring impact of Covid-19 will be to accelerate trends towards direct, online models in categories like wine and that Naked is well positioned to deliver the combination of quality, value and community customers are looking for.”

Naked Wines also announced that current chief financial officer James Crawford has been appointed managing director of its UK business.

Mr Crawford will step down from the board upon identification of his successor.

Naked Wines works on a club membership business with members called ‘angels’ who pay a monthly subscription which accrues as credits and can be exchanged for wines with the idea of ‘squeezing the profits’ of supermarkets. Since launching in 2008, Naked Wines has invested more than £25m in more than 130 winemakers worldwide.