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A “challenge and opportunity” as AO hits £1.66billion


The Founder and CEO of AO says that the last 12 months have been a “step change” for the group, with revenues increasing 62% to £1.66bn.

John Roberts added that many people using online shopping during the lockdown wouldn’t return to their old ways.

“The early and bold investments we made in capacity, infrastructure and people returned increased revenues by 62%, and grew Adjusted EBITDA by 191% across the Group. Most importantly, we rose to the challenge for the people who matter most, our customers, and we relished the opportunity to impress two million more of them in the period,” he explained.

“Delivering brilliantly for customers is at the heart of our mission to become the global destination for electricals. We firmly believe that once people experience a better way to buy electricals, they are unlikely to return to old ways of shopping.”

Growth in the UK was driven by a demand for larger fridges, chest freezers and other home appliances.

The company also created 1200 jobs and doubled its warehousing capacity to 1.8m sq ft.

“Coming out of the pandemic, the direction of travel is firmly with AO, and our proven ability to build scale and drive growth gives us confidence to look towards further European expansion over the next five years.  We’ll continue to make choices that create long-term value for our share owners, as well as make our mums proud,” continued Roberts. 

“I would like to thank all our AOers for living The AO Way during the year and our trading partners who shared our desire to use these testing times as a chance to deepen relationships.”

The financial period covers the start of the pandemic, which AO described as a “challenge and an opportunity” as bricks and mortar stores closed overnight and the entire market shifted online.

Looking forward, the company said that while it had been an “exceptional year” it remained “firmly focused” on growing revenues and taking market share.

It will make a £30m “incremental investment in marketing and digital content in the coming year.”

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