AO World went public in 2014 and floated with its share price at £2.85. And though their share price had fallen to a low of £0.50 just before the European covid-19 lockdowns in March, strong lockdown sales in both the UK and Germany have resulted in the share price bouncing back up to around the £2 mark for the first time in the last five years.
The company was updating its shareholders at its annual meeting and the introduction of a new staff incentive scheme was approved whereby staff will share in a pot valued at £240 million if the company’s share price rises 800% within the next five years.
So, the recent share price rise is a good start. And whether or not that can be maintained and achieve the stretching target the company has set itself will be seen as perhaps uncertain and unpredictable bearing in mind the wider influences over which it has no control.
The founder and Chief Executive of AO World, John Roberts, is reported to have said that this increase in sales has been sustained since the ending of lockdown showing that there’s a structural shift in the way that shoppers make their purchases, from offline to online.
However, it was recognised that the economic impact and future uncertainty of the pandemic and the UK’s trade deals with the EU and non-EU countries could affect consumer demand for white goods.
As John Roberts is reported to still own a stake of nearly 23% in the company it’s in the interests of all its stakeholders that its growth continues.