Virgin Wines says its customers are still buying wine online, during lockdown and beyond. As a result, it now expects to turn over at least £73m in its current financial year – while profits are also expected to improve.
The pureplay, ranked Top500 in RXUK Top500 research, says existing customers continue to buy regularly in the second half of its financial year, while new customers are joining the business. It is confident that the shift to online sales seen during Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions will continue, despite the possible impact on spending as lockdown restrictions ease.
The comments came in a trading update for its current financial year, which runs until June 30.
Virgin Wines chief executive Jay Wright says: “The strong sales momentum delivered in the first half of the financial year has continued into H2 so far. We have been encouraged by the strong customer demand for our wines, alongside growth in our new range of beers and spirits, driven by the ongoing shift in consumer behaviour towards online retailing.
“I would like to thank all of our loyal customers and partners for their continued support in what has been a transformational year for Virgin Wines, having listed on AIM. The group remains well positioned to continue to deliver on our long term growth strategy, underpinned by our unique wine sourcing model and unrivalled consumer propositions, alongside our continued focus on all aspects of the customer experience and growth in our customer base.”
During 2020 Virgin Wines said it delivered more than one million cases to its customers as it benefitted both from the growth of online selling and from the growth of direct-to-consumer wine sales during the pandemic.
Virgin Wines listed on the stockmarket earlier this year with plans to grow the business by expanding customer numbers, building up its corporate and gift channels and expanding further into the craft beer and spirits market.
The Norwich-based business employs about 180 people, at its headquarters and at distribution centres in Preston and Bolton. It was founded in 2000 by the Virgin Group before being bought by Direct Wines in 2005, where Jay Wright was appointed chief executive in 2008.