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Wet winter and summer of football help Bolton electricals giant AO triple profits


Bolton-based electrical goods seller AO World has logged a tripling of profits for the year to March 31, up to £34.3m compared with £12m in 2023.

The retailer blamed a combination of winter and summer for the spike – tumble dryer sales boomed during the wet winter – the eighth wettest on record accorodng to the Met Office – while new TVs for Euro 2024 have kept things ticking over as the sun comes out, with sales this month 54% higher than last year.

Revenues at the retailer, which sells a hefty 15% of all domestic appliances in the UK, were also bolstered by the continued popularity of air fryers, with the company attributing this to customers looking for a cheaper alternative to takeaways amid the cost of living crisis, as well as growing demand for energy-efficient products. Sales of A-rated cooking appliances and heat pump tumble dryers were both up significantly.

AO also said there had been a reduction in cancellation rates of product protection plans in today’s trading update, further improving profitability.

The increase in profits came despite the company’s turnover falling by 9% to just over £1bn for the year. AO said this was a result of the company pivoting to focus on profit and cash generation and controlling overheads.

John Roberts, AO’s founder and chief executive, said: “We have made good progress on our profit performance, which is a testament to the success of our strategic pivot to focusing on profit and cash generation.

“We are now a much simpler, more efficient business and are performing better than ever for customers, with excellent and sustainable unit economics. Our focus now is on delivering profitable top-line growth with an ambition for double-digit revenue growth in FY25.”

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