Online & Digital

AO World reports ‘strong demand’ as revenues rise

AO World said it has experienced “strong demand” during the coronavirus pandemic, reporting a 20.3% increase in revenues to £901.6m, compared with £79.3m in 2019.

However, revenues from its Europe arm decreased by 4.6% to €165.4m (£149.70m) during the year ended 31 March 2020, compared with €173.3m (£156.85m) in the same period last year.

AO World attributed the decrease to the closure of AO.nl, its Netherlands website, in the third quarter as it re-aligned our European operating model with its UK policy.

Group adjusted EBITDA also increased by 53.6% to £19.6m compared with £12.8m in 2019. 

UK adjusted EBITDA also improved by 7.0% to £40.8m (2019: £38.1m) and Europe adjusted EBITDA losses decreased to €24.2m (£21.1m) compared with €27.9m (£25.3m) in 2019 which it attributed to “actions implemented during the period starting to benefit performance during in the second half.”

AO founder and CEO, John Roberts said he is “pleased” with the “substantial progress” the company made, adding that AO has closed for the year in “good shape”.

He said: “Covid-19 has accelerated a shift in customer behaviour towards online shopping and we now need to cement that change. In short, we must drive forward so those customers never look back.

“At the start of the financial year, we went back to basics, bringing clarity and leadership to the fundamentals of our business. AO’s model and vertically integrated ecosystem is a structural advantage when properly leveraged.”

He added: “That progress ensured that we were in the best possible shape when Covid-19 hit in the final weeks of the financial year.

“Looking ahead, there is a huge amount of uncertainty but the values and principles that guide our thinking have positioned us well for the opportunities and challenges that are to come.”

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