Naked Wines: Christmas boost and Gormley steps down

CEO Rowan Gormley has stepped down at Naked Wines as the online wine subscription service reported Christmas sales in line with expectations.

Naked Wines founder Rowan Gormley

In the 10-weeks to 31 December, underling revenue at Naked Wines rose 11% compared to last year, the company said, with gross marge one percentage point higher due to sales from repeat customers.

New Group chief executive Nick Devlin, who takes over from Gormley from today, said the team had worked hard to deliver a good performance.

“With the important Christmas season behind us, we are now acutely focused on executing our plans and achieving our huge growth potential,” he said.

“Rowan leaves the business in great shape. We have the internal capability, clarity of purpose and financial resources to push ahead with our growth plans and deliver value for customers and shareholders alike.”

The company is also scaling back its investment in new customers for the year, which as published in its interim results, is expected to be at the lower end of the £20-25m range, a measure that will boost the company’s overall profit in this financial year. In November the company reported it was on track in the first half of the financial year, although losses after tax widened to £6.4 million, on the back of investment in new customers.

Former chairman Greg Hodder also formally stepped down from the Board today, having handed the Chairman role to US retail heavyweight John Walden back in August 2019.

Gormley surprised the industry by announcing his departure in November, saying he was “a startup guy” rather than the one to build the online business in the US. In August, it was reported that Gormley had told investors he would list the company on the American stock exchange following the sale of Majestic Wine in August.

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