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AO positive despite £11.6m half-yearly loss

AO shares have slumped following its insurance credit cut

AO has reported “solid progress” despite posting £11.6m losses in the six months to September 30.

The Bolton electricals etailer’s latest loss compared to a loss of £4.3m during the same six months in 2021. Its revenue also fell from £660.6m to £546.3m, but the company said that its full-year sales are forecast to hit its target while profits are expected to be around the top end of previous stimates.

Founder and chief executive John Roberts said: “During the first six months of the year, we’ve made good progress with our strategic realignment as we focus on profitability and cash generation, all of which is yielding the results we expected.

“We’ve now closed the loss making and cash consumptive parts of our operations meaning the remaining UK business is cash generative, and are successfully closing our German business with a minimal cash impact to the wider group. I’m pleased with this progress, particularly against the backdrop of an extraordinarily difficult macro-economic climate.”

“While the short-term outlook remains challenging, I’m confident that our strategy is the right one, and as we position ourselves to be the UK’s most trusted electrical retailer we look to the future with cautious optimism.”

AO added that its plan to focus on cash generation and profitability “remains on track” and that its “execution of the strategic pivot is accelerating”.

The company’s statement concluded: “At the full year results we guided to adjusted EBITDA in the range of £20-30m. Whilst mindful of the current economic challenges we expect to be around the top end of the range.

“In the longer-term, our addressable market in the UK stands at c£23.4bn as we look to deepen our presence in categories such as televisions, laptops, audio visual and small domestic appliances. The online segment of the market in those categories remains a key opportunity for us as the long-term structural migration to online retailing continues.”

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