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AO World closes Netherlands operation as losses widen


Online electrical retailer AO World has closed its Netherlands operation as it reported wider first-half losses.

The Bolton-based company opened in the Netherlands in 2016 but said it was now exiting in order to focus European expansion on its German business.

AO’s Dutch operation made a loss of £2.8m in the six months to September 30th, and said closing it would cost £3m.

Overall, the business reported a 16.3% increase in revenue to £470m, but losses using the EBITDA measure increased to £6.2m from £5.4m last year.

It said the decision to exit the Netherlands followed a “full review” of its European business model, and would allow it to “focus resources and energy” on its German business.

Founder and CEO John Roberts said: “Our relentless focus to accelerate profitability in Europe continues and as part of this, we have today announced the closure of our Netherlands operation. This will enable us to concentrate on the transformation of our German business, where we have increased confidence in, and visibility of, the three core drivers of the business model that will put us on the path to profitability.”

Roberts said the results were achieved during a “period of significant change for the business”, but that there were “encouraging green shoots of profitable growth across our UK business”.

Alongside electrical appliances, AO is now the UK’s largest pureplay mobile phone retailer following the acquisition of Mobile Phones Direct last year. It has also added gaming, smart home and photographic devices and equipment to its range.

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