It was less a case of "Black Friday", more a case of "white goods Friday" for recently-listed AO World. Shares in the online washing machine/fridge/dishwasher retailer rose more than five per cent in early trading this morning, after it reported third quarter revenues from its website were up 38 per cent in the three months to the end of December, in part thanks to the discounting bonanza that is the US post-holiday retail frenzy.
For the first time this year, customers lapped up Black Friday deals as retailers engaged in heavy discounting.
According to AO World, total revenue (which excludes its German arm) rose 26 per cent. Sales of "audio visual categories" – ie. TVs – "built well" during the period, it said, adding that "we were particularly pleased with performance in the run-up to Christmas".
Why it's interesting
All eyes have been on AO World since it was floated at the peak of IPO frenzy, in February last year. Even its bankers eventually admitted its flotation, at 72 times forecast underlying profits, was "punchy".
Having fallen to a low of 154p in October, shares in the retailer only rebounded to the 285p at which they floated last month. However, analysts have generally been positive, maintaining that the company is in a strong position (just not "72 times underlying profits" strong).
Today AO World confirmed that, pointing out that it's outlook for the full year remains unchanged.
What AO World said
Operationally we managed very well over the peak trading period, maintaining our industry-leading website response times, service levels and logistics performance, in spite of large spikes in volume, particularly on "Black Friday". As a result, customer satisfaction levels remained high, reflecting our market leading proposition.
The company may be closely watched because of its "punchy" IPO, but trading is reasonably strong.