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AO all set for Europe as it unveils 40% sales rise

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AO World has said it is on track to launch in Germany this year in the first phase of its international expansion. The update came as it unveiled a 40% rise in sales this week. But the costs of floating on the stock exchange took the company to pre-tax losses of £7.5m.

In its first full-year results as a publicly-listed company the company reported £384.9m in revenues, including those from white label website sales and third-party logistics services, in the year to March 31, 40% up compared to the same period last year. Sales from’s own website, which account for 74.6% of total group sales, rose by 45.4% to £287.1m. The company reported a top-line operating profit of £8.2m, but costs of £15.4m related to its stockmarket flotation pushed the company into the red, as it reported pre-tax losses of £7.5m, from profits of £8.1m last time.

The company said it was all set for the first phase of expansion into Europe, launching first in Germany, where it now has premises and is engaging staff and suppliers and aims to start trading in the current financial year.

John Roberts, chief executive, said: “I am delighted by the achievements the AO team has delivered over the course of the last year and the progress we have made in positioning our business structurally and financially to realise the very exciting opportunity we have ahead of us.

“Our UK business continues to build strongly aided by a successful rebranding, introduction of same day delivery and entering the small domestic appliance and television markets.

“We are making great strides in preparing for our launch into Germany as the first step to becoming a leading European online electrical retailer.”

Over the course of the last financial year, highlights included launching same day delivery to certain areas, supported by a network of strategically-positioned stockless outbases served from a central national distribution centre in Crewe. AO also extended the order deadline for next-day orders to midnight, from 10pm previously, and expanded from its core domestic appliance product range into televisions and other audiovisual equipment.

Image: Mark Waugh (c)

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