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DTC sales boost English sparkling producer Gusbourne’s year

English sparkling wine producer Gusbourne Plc saw sales rise by nearly a third over the last year, following significant growth of direct to consumer (DTC) and overseas sales.

In a trading update for the 12 months to 31 December 2020, the estate said that DTC sales now represented around 30% of its total, up from 19% the previous year, while overseas sales were up 10 percentage points, to 32% during 2020.

These two streams will benefit from further investment over the next few years, it said.

Gusbourne’s CEO and Chief Winemaker Charlie Holland said he was pleased with another year of strong overall sales growth, particularly the “pleasing performance in the DTC and overseas sales channels”, and remained “enormously excited” about the opportunity to build the Gusbourne brand across all markets.

“A successful harvest in the autumn of 2020 has added to our wine stocks for future resale and we have strengthened the balance sheet with a new long-term asset-based lending facility from PNC,” he added. 

In June, the Kent-based winery agreed a £10.5 million asset-based loan with PNC Financial Services to provide working capital for the business, and refinance existing debts after its distribution channels – primarily the on-trade – were impacted by Covid-19. At the time, it issued a trading update stating that the winery had been able to engage in a number of “new sales initiatives” to mitigate the impact of coronavirus, with increased volumes of online sales reported. 

The loan was also instigated to the part-repay loans from non-executive director Paul Bentham and shareholder Lord Ashcroft, it said.

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