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AO returns to profit after job cuts and office closures


AO achieves profitability through job reductions and office closures

AO has returned to profitability for the full year thanks to cost-cutting measures.

The company reported a pre-tax profit of £7.6 million for the 12 months ending March 2023, a significant improvement compared to the £10.5 million loss in the previous year.

However, its revenue declined by 17 percent to £1.4 million, excluding loss-making sales, due to weakened consumer confidence amidst the cost-of-living crisis.

Read More: AO launches recruitment drive for more than 250 new staff

During the year, AO implemented a major restructuring of its staff, resulting in a significant reduction in headcount.

Additionally, three offices were closed as part of the cost-saving initiatives.

Looking ahead, AO expressed confidence in achieving its short-term goal of five percent  EBITDA growth and returning to top-line growth in the medium term.

Read More: AO boss bans hybrid working and tells staff to get back to offices or quit

The company plans to invest prudently, leveraging its expanding and loyal customer base to seize market opportunities.

Founder and chief executive John Roberts said: “We are delighted with the demonstrable progress that we’ve made with the strategic realignment of AO towards profitability and cash generation.

“The significant improvement in our profit performance speaks for itself and has been achieved by focusing on our core strengths and simplifying our operations, while still delivering the outstanding customer service for which we’re famous.

Read More: Successful cost-cutting plan leads to AO hiking earnings outlook for third time

“Looking ahead, we intend to continue with this focus whilst also retaining the flexibility to drive growth through disciplined investment at the right pace and at the right time.

“Over five million new customers experienced the AO Way over the last three years, during which time we’ve maintained our ‘excellent’ Trustpilot rating from more than 400,000 Trustpilot reviews, making AO the most trusted electricals retailer in the UK.

“I’d also like to thank all AOers for their support and commitment over the last 12 months I’m always very proud of the way in which they rise to the challenges and maintain our fantastic culture, which is ultimately how we deliver for customers.

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“I’m also grateful to our manufacturer partners for their continued support as we navigate this hugely unpredictable trading period together.”

AO recently announced plans to create over 250 jobs at its headquarters, and Frasers Group, led by Mike Ashley, has become AO’s largest shareholder following an initial investment of £75 million.

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