AO World shares dive as sales slide sparks a shock profit alert

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Bosses admitted the company received a boost in sales last year due to the amount of publicity around founder John Roberts’ decision to list the business, but said sales had subsequently fallen away.

At flotation, several analysts said the listing price of 285p was too high, valuing the company at £1.2 billion, despite recording pre-tax profits of just £8.7 million. Its shares are at 204p today.

AO said full-year sales would hit around £472.5 million, £11 million less than expected, with pre-tax profits of £16.5 million against expectations of £19.9 million.


“AO has experienced tougher than expected trading conditions in the final quarter of the year,” it said in a statement.

“While we are disappointed that sales and profits are going to come in slightly below expectations, we remain committed to our market-leading, customer-focused business model,” it added.

The loss of a logistics contract, changes to the amount of hours its drivers could be behind the wheel and adverse effects from Black Friday, were also blamed.

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February 25, 2015 |
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