AO World attributes millions in losses to “tougher than expected market”

AO World failed to make a profit in its first half despite a double-digit sales rise amid a “tougher than expected market”.

In the six months to September 30, the online electricals retailer saw total sales rise 10 per cent to £404 million.

Despite the rising sales, its EBITDA loss grew from £5.4 million to £6.3 million year-on-year, while overall operating losses shrunk slightly to £11.7 million, down from £12 million last year.

It attributed the significant losses to “operational challenges” in its emerging German market, alongside ongoing difficult conditions at home in the UK.

“While our core UK and Germany medium domestic appliance markets have been challenging, with the UK market becoming tougher than expected, we take encouragement that we are at least maintaining market share in this core category in the UK and growing significantly in Germany,” chief executive Steve Caunce said.

Earlier this month AO World announced it would acquire Mobile Phones Direct for £32.5 million in what it described as a “logical next step” as the internet of things and connected devices become ever more prominent.

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