Online retailer Naked Wines has seen its healthy profit from 2020 plummet by £18 million, despite increasing sales and expanding overseas markets.
The firm blamed the £50 million it spent on attracting new customers, hoping the investment will pay dividends down the line.
Global sales leapt by 68 per cent to £340 million, reflecting the surging popularity of e-commerce during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the US, sales grew by 78 per cent to £162 million, making it the Norwich-based company’s largest market.
Demand was so high last Christmas that its website crashed.
“The pandemic has served to underscore the value of our business model in connecting winemakers and consumers directly,” Naked Wines chief executive Nick Devlin said.
“We believe Naked now stands at an inflection point with outstanding growth potential ahead.”
He added that the business would continue to invest in attracting customers over the 2021/22 financial year.
The news comes after the International Wines and Spirits Record revealed the alcohol industry had been kept afloat during lockdown by home-drinking and online sales, which have grown 45 per cent since 2019.
Wine consumption increased 1.7 per cent globally despite a steep decline in China, thanks to its popularity in the UK, US and Australia.