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AO.com improves overall losses

AO.com has reported a narrowing of its losses over the full-year period ending 31 March, thanks to strong performance in the UK.

The electrical e-tailer reported a 46.2% reduction to group adjusted EBITDA losses from £3.9 million to £2.1 million.

Total revenue for the period increased 17% to £701.2 million (up from £599.2 million in 2016).

But the real success story comes from the UK business, which is growing steadily with total UK revenue increasing 12.7% to £629.7 million and EBITDA profits growing 41.7% to £24.4 million. Over the year, AO launched a computing category in the UK, and also built a recycling facility in Telford.

“It’s been another year of great progress for AO with the UK seeing improved profitability and we have continued to build a solid platform for future growth,” said AO CEO, Steve Caunce.

“In Europe, we opened our new regional distribution centre in Bergheim which will enable us to scale our European operations profitably in the years to come and have improved our gross margin, building on our relationship with suppliers. We have built a state-of the art recycling facility in the UK, we have added new categories to our offering in both the UK and Europe and, in launching computing, we have developed systems and infrastructure to operate a different distribution model, which we can leverage for future category roll-out across territories.”

Caunce praised its UK customer service metrics, saying the company makes it "our mission to care more”.

“This has helped us to continue to gain market share in our categories and countries, notwithstanding the challenging trading environment in the UK,” he said.

But looking forward, the e-tailer expects growth to “slow significantly” in the region over the first quarter of next year due to these challenging trading conditions facing the UK.