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Published on July 2nd, 2021 | by The GC Team

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“Direction of travel firmly with AO”

Online electricals retailer AO said it will look towards further European expansion over the next five years as it reported full-year revenue to 31 March 2021 up 62% to £1,661 million, driven by the continued shift to online shopping.

Group adjusted EBITDA increased 191% to £64 million driven by strong product sales, while EBITDA margin doubled to 4%. Operating profit rose to £30 million from a £4 million loss in 2020.

In the UK, MDA grew 61% driven by demand for larger fridges, chest freezers and other appliances, while SDA grew 103%. Home entertainment categories all grew strongly, including AV (109%), consumer electronics (126%) and gaming (127%).

The retailer gained of over 2 million new customers during the year and created more than 1,200 new roles across the business.

Strategic investment was made in expanded capacity in warehousing, vehicles and people to respond to the accelerated move to the digital environment. The company also introduced a Value Creation Plan giving employees the chance to share in its growth.

AO Founder and Chief Executive John Roberts said: “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.  

“It’s been a step change year for AO in which we’ve achieved significant strategic, operational and financial progress. 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.

“We firmly believe that once people experience a better way to buy electricals they are unlikely to return to old ways of shopping.”

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