UK electricals retailer AO World to close German business

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: AO distribution centre in Crewe

LONDON (Reuters) - British online electricals retailer AO World will close its business in Germany as the outlook for the unit has continued to worsen, it said on Thursday.

AO, which sells washing machines, refrigerators, cookers and televisions, launched a review of the German business in January.

At that time it highlighted an intensifying competitive landscape as customers returned to pre-pandemic levels of online shopping, a substantial increase in digital marketing costs, and a constrained supply chain.

"Having evaluated a range of strategic options during the review process, the board has decided that closure of the German business is the best course of action," it said.

"This decision was based on the continuing deterioration in the outlook for the German business, as well as the board's responsibilities to shareholders and other stakeholders."

The German business, launched in 2014, represents about 10% of group revenue.

AO said the German business would continue to trade for a brief period to facilitate orderly closure for customers, suppliers and employees.

Cash closure costs will be up to 15 million pounds ($18.8 million).

Having closed its Dutch business in 2019, AO will now focus on Britain.

It said its British business continued to trade in line with the board's expectations for the 2022-23 financial year.

AO's shares have fallen 71% over the past year.

($1 = 0.7995 pounds)

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Jason Neely and Bradley Perrett)

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