Naked Wines saw revenues soar by 80% to £157.1m in the half-year ended 28 September 2020.
The group also reported a narrower adjusted pre-tax loss of £3.2m, against a loss of £4.5m reported the prior year. It noted that the reduction was achieved despite a “substantial” uplift in investment in new customers and higher fixed costs.
In the same period, Naked Wines saw repeat customer contribution rise by 89% against last year, marking the same growth rate achieved in total between FY14 and FY20.
It comes as the group said that “arguably the most important consequence” of the pandemic has been the rapid acceleration of online demand in the wine category, which was “most notably” seen in its US market.
It added that: “Quite simply, many customers did not know they could order wine online, to be delivered to their door, until Covid-19 motivated them to look, and they are now embracing it.”
In light of this, US online sales have grown from 5% of off-premise value pre-Covid-19 to 20% in April of this year, while the Naked US business delivered the strongest revenue growth in the first half at 95%. Its US arm now represents 49% of group sales.
Looking ahead, the group said it was mindful of “significant” levels of political and economic uncertainty, despite the “positive trading momentum” seen as it entered its second half of trading.
Nonetheless, it noted that the “many scale achievements are seen as enduring”, and it is therefore raising its expected sales growth to between 55% and 65% for the current year.
CEO Nick Devlin said: “We have delivered exceptional growth and a permanent step change in scale and efficiency for the organisation. We have a business today that is not only larger, but structurally improved and ideally positioned to deliver sustained growth in the coming years.
“Ultimately the most significant impact of COVID-19 on Naked Wines is not found in these interim results, but in the way it has accelerated the growth of the online wine category and increased consumer willingness to trial a new and better way to buy wine.”
He added: “Delivering transformative growth, against a backdrop of new working conditions required by COVID-19, has required us to rapidly solve a series of operational challenges. We have done this whilst maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction and I am tremendously proud of the resilience, flexibility and capability displayed by our staff around the world.
“Looking ahead, whilst the economic outlook remains uncertain, we move into the second half with continued trading momentum, supported by a strong cash balance and with conviction in the potential to unlock further growth opportunities in all our markets.”