Leading internet trading platform Liv-ex has shot up the listings in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100.
The survey, now in its 13th year, ranks non-listed UK companies by their compound annual sales growth over a three year period.
Liv-ex, which has moved from 99th place to 59th in the list, was founded in 1999 by former stockbrokers James Miles and Justin Gibbs.
It operates a business-to-business electronic wine-trading platform, charging a commission on each transaction. About 90% of its business is in Bordeaux wines.
At the same time Liv-ex provides constantly-updated information on prices of fine wines, based on actual merchant transactions.
With 265 merchants in 22 countries, it says sales have grown 76% a year from £5m in 2005 to £27.1m in 2008.
Miles told decanter.com that getting the product right has been important, but Liv-ex’s growth coincided with massive expansion of the internet, as well as the development of the Far East as a wine-buying hub.
In the last four to five years, he said, the site’s UK customers had changed from 80% to less than half. ‘Asia now accounts for half of our new members.’
Miles also said that the recession ‘had not been terrible’ for Liv-ex.
‘It has actually brought customers to the site because it was the only place to find out what the actual current price of a wine was – with all the discounts around people were unsure of prices.’
He added that the number of transactions had gone up, but the transactions themselves had got smaller.
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Written by Adam Lechmere