AO World said today that it had stockpiled goods worth £15m in the run-up to Brexit.
It said it had increased stocks of core fast moving inventory items to the tune of £15m, with a corresponding effect on its cash reserves. “This will help ensure we can continue to deliver our market-leading proposition to our customers,” it said.
The update came as AO World said, in a trading update, that it expected full-year group revenue to come in at about £900m, a rise of about 13% year-on-year. UK revenue would account for £748m of that, 9.8% up on last year, while European revenue of €174m is expected to be 32.1% ahead. It said that earnings for the year to March 31 would be at the lower end of market expectations.
AO World trades as AO.com in the UK, a Leading retailer in IRUK Top500 research, and as AO.de and AO.nl in Europe.
The retailer has restructured its management team following the re-appointment of founder John Roberts as chief executive in January 2019 and expects to incur exceptional costs of around £2.5m in the 2019 full-year as a result both of the changes and as a result of charges for a loss-making contract in Germany that the company is not able to terminate.
Roberts said: “Over the last eight weeks we have created a mindset shift from the numbers delivered in FY19; we are setting about realising our opportunities with pace and energy. I am delighted by the reaction of AO’ers and their passion for our future. We have already announced that we are testing a genuinely disruptive rental proposition. We have also expanded categories further into garden and DIY ready for the season and we are accelerating AO Mobile to launch later this year in readiness for peak trading.
“I am delighted to once again have the privilege to lead the business and excited by the scale of value creation that lies ahead of us for the benefit of all stakeholders. I look forward to updating more fully in early June on how we are accelerating our plans to grow while leveraging the infrastructure we have invested in.”