Online retailer AO World sees losses deepen

Clothes dryers displayed in an appliance store Image copyright Getty Images

AO World, the online domestic appliance retailer, has reported deeper full-year losses, citing start-up costs and investment from its push into Europe.

Pre-tax losses were £6.7m in the year to March 2016, from £2.9m the previous year. Revenues rose 25.7% to £599.2m.

AO World said the widening losses reflected "investment and trading losses incurred in Germany and start-up costs in other European territories".

The retailer also announced it had appointed a new chairman.

Geoff Cooper, who currently works at Card Factory, is to be the new chairman, succeeding Richard Rose who will step down from the position next month.

AO World said it was growing its market share in all its product categories and added that it planned to start selling computers.

"Computing is a natural extension of our current categories and there is good potential for cross-selling to our existing customer base, making it an exciting opportunity for the business," said chief executive John Roberts.

AO World said it was still "in a start-up phase" in Europe, but its German business was "gaining traction with customers," while early signs at its Netherlands business, launched in March, were encouraging.

The firm floated on the stock exchange in 2014 with a market capitalisation of £1.2bn, a figure that surprised the City given its profits of less than £8m in 2013.

AO World's shares were priced at 285p each when it floated on the market. The shares were trading at about 165p on Wednesday, down 1% on the day.

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