Online appliances retailer AO World says it has started well as a public company after today reporting annual revenues of £384.9million, and that growth was being driven through its own website and that it is making great strides in preparing for its launch in Germany
The Bolton company, started by John Roberts following a £1 pub bet with his pal, floated on the Stock Exchange earlier this year with a market value of more than £1bn and in the year to March 31 revenues jumped 40% on the previous year with underlying earnings up 10.9% to £11.2m.
AO, which sells fridges, freezers, tumble dryers and other household appliances online, was valued at £1.6bn and it recently begun selling televisions in a bid to take advantage of this year’s World Cup in Brazil and take a slice of a UK TV market worth £4.2bn a year
Following the annual results he 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.”
AO posted an operating loss of £7.2m which came about because a one-off charge of £15.4m related to the IPO.
The group has also invested in offerings such as same-day delivery, gas and electrical istallation for cooking appliances and an extended deadline for next-day delivery this year.
AO also said third-party website sales were up 28.5% to £79.3m during the year, driven by higher volumes from both insurance replacement clients and branded websites.
Sales in the company’s third party delivery service grew to £18.5m compared to last year’s £15.8m.
Earlier this year Roberts, who pocketed £86m when he sold some of his shares and his firm, revealed that he had told his kids they can forget about inheriting his £500m fortune because he wants to leave it to charity but the founder of AO now says he was always going to leave some of his fortune to his children.
Roberts said: “In regards to the stories about me not leaving any money to my children – I never said I was leaving nothing for them. I will give the kids the best start in life that we can afford. But what they do with it is up to them. I just don’t want them to be defined by what I do.”