AO.com to close German business after full year losses

AO.com has posted full-year losses of £37 million and expects sales to fall to £1.25 billion in its current year, down from £1.56 billion last year.

The online retailer’s pre-tax losses for 2021 came in at £20 million.

Group adjusted EBITDA for the current year will be in the range of £20-30million, the company said, with the usual weighting towards the second half of the year.

AO made note of the 52% revenue growth over the two-year period since 2020, citing the resilience of its UK business, this included a year-on-year decline of 5% against an “extraordinary comparative performance” during the pandemic in 2021.

Overall liquidity of £50 million came down from £143 million from the year before.

READ MORE: AO partners with Espo, providing appliances to public sector customers

The retail group secured additional liquidity of £40 million with an £80 million revolving credit facility extended until April 2024.

It also decided to close its German business in order to focus on its UK market, after a strategic review. The German division of the group is estimated at no more than £5 million.

AO said the new financial year marks a a “period of realignment” as it executes a strategic pivot to focus on cash and profit generation.

Business realignment is expected to reduce both sales and costs, but in the medium term AO hopes to deliver average revenue growth of 10% or above per annum.

“The past 12 months has been a turbulent time for business and for retail in particular, and AO hasn’t been immune to those effects,” AO founder and chief executive John Roberts said.

“Looking ahead, we certainly have more volatility to navigate, but the core fundamentals of our business remain strong. We entered the new financial year with a period of strategic realignment, and a focus on cash and profit generation.”

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