TOP NEWS: AO World In Strongest-Ever Christmas But Costs Climbing

(Alliance News) - AO World PLC on Tuesday hailed a "significant increase in demand" during the ...

Alliance News 19 January, 2021 | 8:29AM
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(Alliance News) - AO World PLC on Tuesday hailed a "significant increase in demand" during the lucrative Christmas trading period, but the online electrical retailer said it has incurred higher costs as well, due to the "operational challenges" of working in a Covid-secure environment.

Shares in the company were down 6.1% at 354.50 pence each in London on Tuesday morning.

In the three months ended December 31, its third-quarter, AO's UK revenue rose 67% to GBP457.3 million, with Germany revenue jumping 77% to EUR73.6 million.

"The significant increase in demand for AO's products and services since the start of the pandemic has continued throughout our third quarter as we experienced our strongest ever peak trading period over the Black Friday period and in the run up to Christmas," AO added.

"We look forward to the last quarter and the next financial year with confidence as the structural shift to online is cemented in consumers' minds by the outstanding service millions of new customers have received in 2020."

AO said it has seen costs rise "significantly" due to "some of the operational challenges of working in a Covid compliant environment". The company has also seen higher rates of cancellation of long-term mobile contracts and warranties, it added.

Chief Executive John Roberts, said: "I believe we've seen ten years of change in ten months, and experienced our strongest ever peak trading period.

"We backed ourselves by investing early in warehouses, vehicles, stock and people. This not only set us up to satisfy customer demand for electricals for the current crisis but also for the longer term, as the structural shift to online becomes a permanent feature of the market in the UK and Germany. One of our biggest achievements this period is to have our German business profitable throughout Q3."

By Eric Cunha; ericcunha@alliancenews.com

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