Online electrical retailer AO World, has enjoyed unprecedented growth over the past year and says it will continue to see double-digit growth, despite tough comparatives. In its trading update ahead of the release of its annual results on June 16, it said it delivered a strong performance across all aspects of the business, stepping up to, and capitalising on, the challenges and opportunities presented by the COVID pandemic.
Group revenues rose by 62 per cent to £1.66bn, with momentum continuing in the fourth quarter. Its UK website, AO.com, had increased year-on-year revenue by 88 per cent in the fourth quarter, with its German website growing full year revenue by 77 per cent. The German business is expected to generate profits in the current financial year.
Group adjusted EBITDA, despite COVID-related costs, is expected to be in the range £63m-£72m, compared with £19.6m in 2020. Over the period, government support was either repaid or not claimed and had no impact on profitability.
AO chief executive and founder, John Roberts, said: “I am delighted to report a year of outstanding financial, operational and strategic progress. The last 12 months have been like no other and we have been very proud to rise to the challenges for our customers – keeping their lives powering on with essential electrical and technology products.
“Serving customers in The AO Way and treating every customer like our own gran, irrespective of cost, has enabled us to impress millions of customers with a better way to shop electricals. We were brave and bold in our capacity and infrastructure investments early in the year and now look forward to building on that scale advantage. believe that these market dynamics will stick and, whilst there is inevitable uncertainty, the direction of travel is firmly with AO and the business model we have spent more than 20 years building.
“I expect that we will continue to be a double-digit growth business in the year ahead, even now as we lap the tough comparatives from last year with physical stores open. I look forward to providing more detail at our full year results in June.”