enjoys strong past year and post-lockdown uplift has reported strong sales and profit growth for the past year and initial figures show an increased number of shoppers are continuing to buy electrical goods online despite physical stores now allowed to reopened.

The company enjoyed revenue growth of 15.9% to £1.046 billion for the year ending March 31, which helped drive profits up 53.6% to £19.6 million. Total UK revenues grew by 20.3%.

Although the reporting period only included a week of trading during lockdown the company experienced strong demand and significant market share gains. This has continued as revealed continued year-on-year growth in recent weeks despite the reopening of physical stores.

John Roberts, AO founder and CEO, said: "I'm pleased that we have made substantial progress, closing the year in good shape after getting AO fit and focused on the future. Covid-19 has accelerated a shift in customer behaviour towards online shopping and we now need to cement that change. In short, we must drive forward so those customers never look back. AO now has the opportunity to become a new habit that lasts - by delivering brilliant service for customers.  In other words, turning those lockdown learnings into lifelong change.”

The company continues with its push to expand into Europe but it has not been without its challenges and a full review of the business was undertaken at the start of the year. This has resulted in the closure of the Netherlands business at a cost of £2.5 million and the decision to focus resources and energy on the German operation. A key component of this is the centralising of certain core disciplines including eCommerce and marketing within the UK.