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Published on June 8th, 2016 | by The GC Team


AO World reports deeper losses; new Chairman appointed

AO World saw its losses increase for the year ended 31 March 2016 due to investment in its businesses in Germany and the Netherlands.

The firm reported a pre-tax loss of £6.7 million, up from £2.9 million in the previous year.

Total group revenue increased by 25.7% to £599.2 million as UK growth continued and the German business gained traction, the company said.

AO website sales in the UK, which include AO.com and the UK AO-branded eBay shop, grew 27.7% to £487.1 million, with total UK revenue up 18.6% to £558.5 million due to a further gain in market share.

The company said that all current categories are growing market share and it will be introducing a computing category to AO.com during the current financial year.

“AO in Germany is gaining traction with customers and early indications for the Netherlands business launched in March 2016 are very encouraging,” it said.

Commenting on the results, Chief Executive Officer John Roberts (pictured) said: “It’s been another year of great progress for AO. We have continued on our journey to become the best electrical retailer in Europe, having grown our market share in all our categories and expanded the AO brand into our next country, the Netherlands.

“We are growing the business as fast as we can safely; expanding in our chosen categories and countries, whilst keeping a tight grip on our culture. Improving our brand awareness has been a key focus over the last year and this has increased significantly following successful investment in marketing, helping us attract new customers and improving repeat business metrics.

“Our customer proposition remains strong: our unbeatable prices, huge range and amazing service mean our customer satisfaction levels remain exceptional and we will continue to focus on this as we broaden into new categories.

“Our launch into computing this year will bring AO’s amazing customer service to even more people and you’ll see us take a different approach to the traditional ‘feature-led’ way of selling this category, to the benefit of all customers.

“Computing is a natural extension of our current categories and there is good potential for cross-selling to our existing customer base, making it an exciting opportunity for the business.”

AO also announced the appointment of Geoff Cooper as Chairman. He will succeed Richard Rose, who sold 5.58 million shares in the company, landing him a £10 million windfall, in March last year. He will step down at the Company’s AGM in July after eight years in the role.

Cooper is currently chairman of the Card Factory plc and private company Bourne Leisure. He will be appointed as a non‐executive director of AO with effect from 1st July 2016.


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