AO World, a British online retailer, has reported a return to profitability in the first half of the year thanks to reduced costs and improved margins. This comes despite a drop in sales in a market where discretionary spending is under pressure due to high borrowing costs and a slowing housing market. The company reported a pretax profit of 13 million pounds in the six months to Sept. 30, compared to a loss of 12 million pounds in the same period last year, despite a 12% fall in revenue to 482 million pounds.
AO World has raised its expectations for the full year, with a forecasted pretax profit of 28 million pounds to 33 million pounds for the 2023/24 year, up from previous guidance of around 28 million pounds. Despite expectations for a 10% fall in full year revenue, the company is optimistic and plans to invest prudently in the business to capture market opportunities.
In a strategic partnership forged in June, Mike Ashley’s Frasers fashion group has acquired a significant stake, holding 22.1% of AO. This has led to a sharp increase in AO’s shares, which are up 60% this year. Acquiring licensing rights, opens a new tab.