Virgin Wines gears up for stock market flotation

Virgin Wines has unveiled plans for a stock market flotation.

The company plans to list on London’s AIM market at the start of March, in a move believed to set the value of the group at around £100 million.

The news follows booming demand during the pandemic months, and it reportedly delivered more than one million cases of wine to customers last year. Subscriptions make up 73% of its annual sales, with 147,000 of its 169,000 now listed as subscribers.

The Group said its subscription schemed help drive high levels of repeat purchases, demonstrated by a customer retention rate of 89% and a sales retention rate of 112% in the year ended June 30, 2020.

Jay Wright, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Wines, said: “Virgin Wines is a distinctive, fast-growing direct-to-consumer retail business with a unique wine sourcing model and a loyal customer base.  We are delighted to announce our intention to list on AIM signifying an exciting new chapter in the Group’s long-term development.

“We have enjoyed strong, consistent growth recently resulting in the Group delivering more than one million cases of wine to consumers during 2020. Underpinned by the strength of our customer proposition as well as the benefit of many positive consumer trends, we have a clear strategy to continue this growth over the coming years.”

The group saw revenues jump 55% year-on-year to £40.6 million in the second half of 2020, with underlying earnings jumping 196% to £4.5 million, due to soaring sales in the Covid-19 weeks.

Virgin Wines offers two subscription plans: WineBank, where members make monthly payments into an account to spread the cost of buying wine; and Wine Plan, offering five deliveries of 12-bottle cases of wine a year. There is also the option for pay-as-you-go deliveries of 12-bottle cases for not subscribing visitors.

The Group also operates B2B and gift sales channels and recently expanded its product offering to include carefully curated collections of premium spirits and craft beers.

The company was founded in 2000 by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, before being sold to Direct Wines five years later.

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