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Sales soar at AO as boss says ‘our market has changed forever’

AO World revenues have soared by more than 50 per cent, as company Founder and Chief Executive, John Roberts, said it’s been a half year “like no other”.

“I believe our market has changed as a result, forever,” he added.

The online retail giant has announced its interim financial results for the six months ended 30 September 2020, reporting that total group revenue increased by 53.2 per cent to £717 million and pre-tax profit increased to £18.3 million from a loss of £5.9 million in the same period last year.

There was a rise of nearly 54 per cent in sales in the UK to £616.4 million.

UK MDA sales increased by 52 per cent, the company said, with fridges and freezers being of particularly high demand.

But sales shot up in other categories – SDA, audio visual, computing and gaming (but excluding mobile) – by around 112 per cent against the same 2019 period, thanks in part to the increase in home working, AO said.

The company also reported of “resilient operational performance” with “ongoing significant investment” in its people and infrastructure to ensure it is prepared and well equipped to serve what it calls the “step change” in online penetration.

Mr Roberts continued: “Online is now the dominant retail channel for customers and manufacturers alike and I am delighted by how our AOers have risen to the challenge of this structural shift in behaviour.

“Now really is our time and we are investing to win and cement the change.”

He added that the company’s performance across its categories give “huge confidence” that the business is well set for the future to cement the changes.

“It has been an incredible team effort to serve customers, existing and new, in their moments of need that I believe they will repay us with loyal custom for years to come.”

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