must “cement the change” in shopping habits, CEO says John Roberts
UK revenue grew 20% to £902 million
// full-year profits and sales increase
// Profits rose 54% to £19.6m to the year ending March 31
// Sales grew 16% to £1.04bn has seen a strong increase in its full-year profits and sales, though chief executive John Roberts said it “must cement that change” accelerated by online shopping habits amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The electrical retailer’s full-year profits rose by 54 per cent to £19.6 million to the year ending March 31, as Brits shifted to online shopping during the coronavirus lockdown.

Sales rose by 16 per cent to £1.04 billion, as customers bought in fridges, freezers and home working equipment to prepare for the uncertainty ahead.

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Meanwhile, UK revenue grew 20 per cent to £902 million, while EU revenue dropped 4.6 per cent due to the closure of the retailer’s Dutch website.

AO launched a review of its EU business at the start of the financial year, and said it will focus on its German division where it expects to achieve positive EBITDA on revenue of approximately €250 million (£226 million).

“I’m pleased that we have made substantial progress, closing the year in good shape after getting AO fit and focused on the future,” Roberts said.

“Covid-19 has accelerated a shift in customer behaviour towards online shopping and we now need to cement that change,” he said.

“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.”

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