AO World, the white goods retailer that floated last year, enjoyed a share price boost of around 7.5% this morning after announcing a 38% jump in website sales in the last three months of 2014. The Bolton-based company said it particularly benefitted from ‘unprecedented’ demand on Black Friday, and that sales of TVs and related items, which launched on the site in May, were performing well.
‘AO World has made continued progress through the third quarter, delivering further strong trading in the UK while moving ahead both operationally and strategically’, said its CEO and founder John Roberts, who netted an on-paper fortune of £500m in the IPO, and who came 7th in MT's top 100 entrepreneurs 2014.
‘Our brand recognition continues to grow and over this key peak period, including the unprecedented demand seen on Black Friday, we continued to deliver for our customers.’
AO’s performance has been watched closely since its highly anticipated IPO last year led to disappointment. Already valued at 72 times forecast underlying profits, AO shares leapt by 33% on the day of the floatation but since crashed, hitting a low of 154p in October.
Things have been on the up since then though, and shares finally returned to their IPO price of 285p in early December. They dipped again and were on the slide until this morning's 7.5% jump, which took them up to 265.8p - still some way down, but a big improvement on three months ago.
Credit: Yahoo Finance
Where it goes next is anybody’s guess, but the company says it remains confident of meeting full-year expectations and that its German business, launched in October, was operating 'ahead of plan.' Roberts has said he won’t be leaving a penny of his fortune to his children, to give them the opportunity to ‘make their own lives’. Investors will be hoping he can deliver more geneorus returns.