AO reports “strongest ever peak trading period”

Online electrical retailer AO World has reported its "strongest ever peak trading period" in its third quarter, ended December 31, 2020.

19 Jan, 21

Online electrical retailer AO World has reported its “strongest ever peak trading period” in its third quarter, ended December 31, 2020, according to its trading update.

AO sales growth despite "declining MDA market" 1

It stated the “significant” increase in demand since the start of the pandemic  continued throughout its third quarter and its “strongest ever” peak trading period over the Black Friday period and in the run up to Christmas. 

In the three months to 31 December 2020 AO recorded year on year UK revenue growth of 67.2% to £457.3m and of 77.4% to €73.6m in Germany.

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The company is continuing to invest in infrastructure, including additional warehouse staff, vehicles and drivers. It employed 1,500 new recruits in 2020.

However, the retailer has incurred “significantly” higher costs negotiating operational challenges of working in a COVID compliant environment.

And it states there remains some imbalances in supply and demand in some categories due to COVID.

AO also reports a “slightly” increased rate of cancellation of individual consumers’ long term contracts in mobile and warranties.

The company is confident about sales in the last quarter and the next financial year, compounded by “tailwinds” driven by consumers working from home who have a new level of appreciation for electrical products.

Founder and chief executive of AO 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.”

He added: “Now that customers have experienced a better, digital-first way to shop for electricals, I believe the majority will never look back.

“We intend to cement that change by raising the bar on our service and proposition in ways that only AO can deliver.”

AO has recently joined the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI), as a corporate sponsor.