AO World narrows losses despite weaker performance in Europe
Online electrical retailer AO World narrowed full-year losses in its last trading year despite reporting deeper losses on the Continent.
AO World reported an adjusted LBITDA for the year ended 31 March of £400,000 - a marked improvement on the loss of £3.4m turned in a year earlier and in line with guidance issued by the firm in April.
Core earnings in the UK grew 21% to £27.4m, but losses in Europe increased to €31.3m after the group made less progress than expected on product margins and as a result of cost pressures from having to re-configure driver scheduling arrangements in Germany.
AO also cut its group operating loss 6% to £15.2m but losses per share widened to 3.78p from the 2.93p seen a year earlier.
Net debt as of 31 March was £9m - a significant turnaround on the £38.3m cash balance the firm held a year earlier, driven by its acquisition of MPD and construction of a new plastics plant.
Chief executive John Roberts said: "Overall, the AO team deserve praise for their efforts in FY19 but we can do better and I'm pleased with the progress that we are now making in the first few months of this financial year.
"I'm proud to be back at the helm of the business I founded almost two decades ago and I'm more excited than ever about the future for AO."
Commenting on the white goods retailers's results, analysts at Numis said: "After a period of building out category and geography exposure, and creating a broad electrical retailing ecosystem in the process, under returning CEO John Roberts we see AO as well positioned to return to a path of disruptive, profitable growth."
As of 0820 BST, AO World shares had slipped 1.11% to 108.78p.