Online retailer AO announces plans for flotation

A factory worker assembles a washing machine Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption AO is one of the UK's biggest online sellers of major domestic appliances

Online electrical goods retailer AO has announced plans to float on the London Stock Exchange.

The company, previously known as Appliances Online, hopes to raise £60m through selling new shares in the flotation, which is expected in March.

AO, which sells large appliances such as washing machines and ovens, also said it wanted to start selling televisions, and expand into Germany.

Analysts have suggested it could be aiming for a £1bn valuation.

The company's co-founder and chief executive, John Roberts, said a London listing would be vital for the company's expansion plans.

"Ultimately, it is our ambition to be a leading European online electrical retailer," he added.

The listing is one of many expected in the retail sector this year. Newsagents McColl's announced its intention to float last month, while Poundland, Pets at Home, and House of Fraser are expected to come to the market later this year.

AO's revenues for the nine months to the end of December were £281.1m, an increase of more than 40% on the same period in 2012.

However, its profits for that period fell by about 36%, to £3.2m.

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