AO World has seen group revenue soar 62% to £1.7bn in the year ended 31 March, 2021, as the group reaped the benefits of the online shopping shift that was driven by the pandemic over the period.
The retailer’s operating profit rose to £30m, up from a £4m loss reported in 2020. Meanwhile, group adjusted EBITDA rocketed 191% to £64m, up from £22m in 2020, largely driven by strong product sales.
Its UK business performed particularly well in the period, with UK revenue up 59% to £1.4bn. In this market, Major Domestic Appliances grew 61%, driven by demand for larger fridges, chest freezers and other home appliances. Small Domestic Appliance sales soared 103%, while other home entertainment categories all grew strongly, including AV (109%), consumer electronics (126%) and gaming (127%).
Looking ahead, the group is set to focus on further European expansion, with ambitions to continue to expand its model into new products and new geographies. It aims to be operating in five countries within the next five years, including existing markets of the UK and Germany.
AO’s founder and CEO, John Roberts, said: “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.
“Delivering brilliantly for customers is at the heart of our mission to become the global destination for electricals. We firmly believe that once people experience a better way to buy electricals, they are unlikely to return to old ways of shopping.”
He added: “Our vertically integrated business model offers substantial operational leverage which means all incremental growth feeds our flywheel, generating cash to invest back into our business for customers.
“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. We’ll continue to make choices that create long-term value for our share owners, as well as make our mums proud.