Virgin Wines sales slip despite subscriptions growth

Virgin Wines pre-tax profit and earnings per share have dropped in the past six months as the online wine retailer continues to battle changes to both the trading environment and consumer behaviour.

The retailer said that widespread cost pressures have impacted its business with UK consumers less likely to spend their money on wine as they start to feel the pinch of inflation.

Profit before tax also fell slightly from £3.4 million in the first six months to £3.2 million by 31 December.

In addition, the company – a subsidiary of the Virgin Group -earned an average of 4.6p per share in the six months to 31 December, a decrease from 6p from the first half of the year.

READ MORE: Virgin Wines issues profit warning on rising inflation

However, the online wine retailer formed a new partnership with Moonpig, an online card maker, in a bid to drive sales in the commercial channel.

Subscription-based revenue was up 23% to £26.3 million from £21.4 million, as subscription memberships grew 7% in the last six months to 31 December.

Overall, the wine retailer recorded total revenue of £40.6 million for the period, which was in line with its 2020 expectations.

“As expected, the trading environment has evolved considerably over recent months and given strong prior year comparatives, we have worked hard to maintain encouraging growth from our core sales channels, whilst maintaining strict discipline around our customer acquisition and our cost control,” Virgin Wines chief executive Jay Wright said.

“The second half of the year has started well. We continue to make progress with our strategic initiatives and remain in line with management expectations.”

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