Naked Wines’ full-year sales jump 68% as COVID-19 fuels demand.

Naked Wines plc (LON: WINE) said on Thursday that its sales jumped 68% in the year that concluded on 29th March. The company attributed its hawkish performance to operations in the United States, where the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions fuelled demand the most.

The Coronavirus pandemic has so far infected more than 32 million people in the United States and caused over half a million deaths. Experts had called for a narrower 65% annualised growth in Naked’s sales in the recent year.

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Naked Wines shares were reported about 2% down in premarket trading on Thursday but jumped more than 5% on market open. Including the price action, the stock is now trading at a per-share price of 806 pence. In comparison, Naked Wines had started the year 2021 at a lower 663 pence per share – a good news for the value investors.

Naked Wines’ U.S. operations grew by 75%

The online wine retailer said that its business in the U.S. posted an over 75% growth, handling £150 million worth of transactions that accounted for roughly 50% of its total full-year sales. The number of new customers also increased and topped guidance by 10%.

The Norwich-headquartered company expressed confidence that its cash stature was strong enough to fund operations in 2022. Fixed costs, it added, remained in line with expectations last year. In an earlier report published in November, Naked Wines said it swung to a broader loss in the fiscal first half.

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CEO Nick Devlin’s comments on Thursday

Chief Executive Nick Devlin commented on the financial update on Thursday and said:

“Our significant growth is a testament to the customer demand for an online wine model that offers direct connection to the world’s top winemakers. Ultimately whilst Covid has driven the trial of many online models, the long-term winners will be the businesses that offer customers a genuinely differentiated offer. I firmly believe Naked will be one of those long-term winners.”

The report comes only a day after Naked Wines named Darryl Rawlings as its new chairman. Rawlings will take over later this year when Ian Harding (current chairman) retires.

Naked Wines performed massively upbeat in the stock market last year with an annual gain of close to 200%. At the time of writing, the London-listed company has a market cap of about £586 million and a price to earnings ratio of 88.94.

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