chief executive John Roberts has expressed interest in bringing the business to new European markets after its German venture was brought to profitability this year.

The etailer exited the Netherlands after conducting a review of its European arm at the beginning of the financial year, but Roberts said it will look elsewhere now that Germany is secure. recorded strong profit and sales growth in its full-year results, in what Roberts has said is a definitive shift for the sector. 

Roberts said: “We will [look to new markets] now our German business is fixed. What we’re looking to do is build central areas of expertise, which can repeat across categories and territories.

“Getting our German business into profitability is very much first base to give us the platform to grow in Germany and grow out from there, too. That will be our focus for next year.

”We’ve got the opportunity with significant numbers of new customers that have been forced to shop in a way that they may not have chosen to previously, that have actually found it to be a better way.”

When asked about the government decision to make face masks mandatory in shops from July 24, Roberts believed this could only act in AO’s favour.

He added: ”Frankly, you can go on our website and select a product with all the information you need before you can get your mask out of your pocket and put it on.

“It does bring home how much better a way to shop online is, and will further cement the change.”