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Bolton-based domestic appliances retailer has raised £50m through a share placing.

The group announced that brokers Jefferies International and Numis Securities placed just under 37.8m new shares, representing around 9.9% of the company at a price of 132.5p per placing share.

The cash will be used to support its growth ambitions, provide flexibility to react to market opportunities and changes, and strengthen its balance sheet for supplier partners.

AO chief executive Steve Caunce

Chief executive Steve Caunce and founder John Roberts participated in the placing by buying 1.5 million shares each.

The company also reported that turnover is expected to be around £700m for the year to the end of March 2017, up 17% year-on-year.

Caunce, who replaced Roberts as CEO last month, said: “This is our first capital raising since our IPO and the proceeds will support our continued growth and increasing scale as we pursue our proven strategy.

“We have seen another year of strong growth – in the UK and in Europe – as we continue to deliver on our 4C’s strategy and opened our European distribution centre in Bergheim. This was achieved in spite of the challenging dynamics in our markets.

“We remain as committed as ever to doing business the AO way and continuing to deliver for our customers, our people, our supplier partners and our investors. The strength in our UK business and our investment in mainland Europe have positioned us well for the future, and this will be further strengthened by the capital raising.”

AO, which was founded by Roberts in 2000, floated in February 2014 with a £1.2bn value.

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