Pureplay wine specialist Naked Wines has hailed its performance over the last financial year, reporting it has exceeded sales guidance driven in particular by its US market.

In a trading update for the financial year ending March 29, 2021, the retailer said group sales across its UK, US and Australian markets were up 68%, exceeding the upper-end of guidance.

The primary driver of this growth was its US market, which saw sales grow 75% to surpass £150m for the first time and now represents around 45% of total sales. 

The retailer also reported a 50% year-on-year increase in its Active Angels subscriber base to more than 885,000 with repeat customer contribution 5% above the high-end of guidance, with repeat contribution margins improving year on year. 

Naked Wines chief executive Nick Devlin said: “I’m exceptionally proud of the performance we have delivered over the last year. Our significant growth is a testament to the customer demand for a disruptive online wine model that offers a direct connection to the world’s top winemakers. I’d like to thank all our colleagues for their continued dedication throughout a challenging year. We end this year not just as a bigger business, but a better one, benefitting from scale economies that have reinforced our competitive position and enhanced our appeal to both customers and top winemaking talent.

“Whilst in some ways 2021 is as difficult to predict as 2020, I believe we have seen an enduring shift of demand online across multiple categories. 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.

“We are committed to further strengthening our proposition and have identified multiple areas to invest in enhancing our customer and wine proposition in the year ahead. The past 12 months have been exceptionally challenging for winemakers the world over and I’m delighted we have been able to use our platform to support over 235 extremely talented independent winemakers to not just survive but grow with us. More than ever I’m excited to work creating a unique platform that connects some of the world’s best winemakers directly with a passionate community of wine drinkers.”